Viewpoint: Downtown stakeholders work to assist homeless population

January 20,2021

Tammy Hughes, MSW - CAP/ADID Social Impact Director for the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Homelessness in Atlanta has long been disproportionately located in downtown Atlanta. During the most recent count, 3,240 homeless people were identified, a 31% increase in the unsheltered population. The reasons for the concentrated homeless population in downtown vary, but many service providers are in and around the area.

When COVID-19 hit and the directives were given to stay home, work remotely and social distance, none of this guidance translated to those experiencing street homelessness. Those who typically serve this community were at home attending to their own elevated needs. Organizations were faced with staffing and facility limitations, which hindered outreach and homeless assistance that had been available pre-pandemic.

 As the Social Impact Director for the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) and Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), I began receiving phone calls and emails from Downtown stakeholders concerned about their neighbors experiencing homelessness. This past summer, ADID invested in a strategy to build capacity in the homeless services ecosystem on a short-term basis, while community providers and their outreach teams worked to resume uninterrupted service to our downtown street homeless citizens.

Read the complete viewpoint at the link above.