The City of Atlanta is one of only two municipalities in the State of Georgia that has met the federal benchmarks and criteria for creating an effective end to homelessness for veterans. Meeting the criteria for each benchmark, set by USICH, means Atlanta has created a system and capacity to quickly identify and house veterans experiencing homelessness.
While this is a tremendous achievement, homelessness continues to be an issue in our city, and we must do more. We remain sympathetic to the plight of these individuals, but we must be mindful of the harm they are doing to themselves because of their exposure to the elements. Doing all we can to get shelter for these folks will improve their lives, and the lives of all Atlantans. I remain committed to using the necessary city resources to help them in the most compassionate ways possible. Here are the ways we will demonstrate our compassion and ensure that we do not leave anyone behind:
- Work with local faith-based institutions to increase the amount of no-barrier shelter space.
- Coordinate with food banks and other charities to make sure hot meals are available.
- Partner with Grady, Worksource Atlanta and community stakeholders to expand wraparound services.
- Protect significant sub-categories, such as HOPWA and the city’s unsheltered youth.
- Work with local businesses on job training and placements.
- Establish family shelters so parents aren’t separated from their children.
- Improve police training on dealing with these individuals to help them off the streets and into shelters.
- Follow through on our plans to improve the economy and increase affordable housing to create jobs and homes.