Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms just announced the city of Atlanta raised $50 million to build houses for homeless families, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The initiative to combat the gross amount of homelessness in the city began in 2017 while former mayor, Kasim Reed, was in office. The shutdown of Atlanta's largest shelter activated the launch of HomeFirst Atlanta. Political and community leaders working with the United Way Regional Commission on Homelessness and Invest Atlanta established the financial means to get the housing project rolling. Two prosperous years later, $50 million is put up between Reed's Homeless Opportunity Bond and private donors.
This is great news for over 500 families without homes. Though the amount of these individuals may seem overestimated to some, it's a pretty accurate count for those who look beyond the basic description of "homeless." Co-Chair of the Atlanta Regional Commission on Homelessness Jack Hardin explained the "common misconception" of people only thinking it's defined by not having a roof over your head. He told The Atlanta Voice:
“A far larger proportion of people experiencing homelessness have incomes and function at very high levels, but live on the margins of the economics of our society and any hardship can derail.”
Mayor Bottoms also shared her expectations with the news outlet:
“HomeFirst will create 550 units of permanent supportive housing that will be part of larger developments that will contribute, in aggregate, more than 2,500 units of affordable housing. We are building a compassionate community of trusted partners who approach homelessness in a strategic, transparent and accountable way. The results show that it is working.”
Photo: Atlanta Journal Constitution Twitter (@ajc)