For Atlanta’s business community, success has to be measured by more than the value of its buildings – it is also measured by the value it brings to everyone who lives, works, and visits Downtown. A livable, vibrant and economically robust Downtown must reflect our social values as well.
The visible impact of economic disparity – panhandling, homelessness, untreated mental illness, substance abuse problems – speaks to the need for the business community to take an active role in addressing these social problems. In recognition of this role, ADID began its Social Impact work to further understand and promote solution-driven efforts that address key quality of life issues, including helping to launch innovative programs and investing in programs with proven results.
We believe that a livable, vibrant, and economically robust Downtown must reflect our shared values, which means we take an active role in social issues and support our Downtown service organizations that provide for those in need. It is important to note that homelessness does not describe the person. Homelessness describes the circumstance a person may be experiencing. Often, homelessness is not the only thing going on in a person’s life. Homelessness can many times be connected to mental illness or an issue related to substance abuse. Behaviors of a person experiencing homelessness and in a crisis can be unpredictable and can change drastically without warning. One of the strategies we use to address homelessness that may co-occur with mental health challenges or substance addictions is by using outreach as an impactful way to de-escalate crisis situations using trauma-informed skills, training, and experience to identify therapeutic needs and treatment options.
Our priorities include:
Addressing Homelessness Through Outreach
In September 2020, the ADID Outreach Team pilot program was launched. This effort was deployed as a mobile response unit to build capacity in the homeless service system on a short-term basis while community providers and their outreach teams worked to resume uninterrupted service delivery to those experiencing homelessness on the streets of Downtown.
The Outreach Team provides a timely response to non-criminal, non-emergency quality of life, business nuisance, public disturbance, substance use, or mental health concerns in Downtown Atlanta with Social Workers and Safety Advocates trained in de-escalation and crisis management with a network of connections to shelters, as well as treatment facilities, and care providers.
Call the dispatch line: 404-215-9600
- Community Calls for Service = 741
- Connections to Shelter = 1,301
- COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Linkages = 1,282
- Contact Engagements = 2,525
- Collaborative placements into Transitional or Permanent Housing, Cumulative (2020 and 2021) = 276
Learn More About The Outreach Team
Community Resource Card
We have created a Community Resource Card as a tool to assist persons in need of shelter and food resources. It can also be utilized as a helpful guide to contacts for safety, cleanliness, and other Downtown resources. The card is a tangible resource of homeless services, providers, and public safety information that can be downloaded or requested from us as needed. Please keep the Community Resource Card as a reference and stay tuned for opportunities to learn, to participate in conversations, and to join the collective effort to support the most vulnerable among us with dignity and respect.
Public Food Distribution
Food donations in Downtown Atlanta that are not coupled with other types of services actually maintain homelessness rather than solve it, because it disrupts the pipeline of social services that provide pathways and assistance out of homelessness.
We urge you to focus your efforts and resources on holistic support. To do this, we suggest connecting with a community partner that is already embedded within the City’s homeless population—an organization that is hyper-local and is committed to addressing the complicated needs of underserved individuals over time.