The Overlooked Struggle of Atlanta: Homelessness

Ansley Tanner

Walking down the street in downtown Atlanta, it is normalized to see people sitting on the ground with a bag of belongings and a poster asking for help. This is a sad sight that many people overlook as they hustle through their day. The sheer number of homeless people downtown makes the sad reality go unnoticed. 


According to Midtown Atlanta, “Data collection in 2020 found there are approximately 3,200 homeless people within the City of Atlanta’s 130 square-mile footprints. The count is down 25% since 2015.” This positive progress is something for Atlanta citizens to be proud of, but also to keep improving. 


Many relief efforts have been made to help crackdown on the homelessness issue in Atlanta. For example, according to AJC, “A few months ago, armed with cash from the first coronavirus relief package, the city of Atlanta set out with an ambitious goal: Moving 800 people off the streets and into their own apartments.” These efforts were made by the nonprofit organization Partners for Home, and have been very successful. Around 400 people have already been moved into their own apartments and about 200 are ready in line. Atlanta citizens should take part in donating to organizations such as those in order to positively impact their community. 


Los Angeles had the highest count of homeless people in its city according to US News, reaching around 15,000 people. To tackle this huge number, a relief effort of nearly one billion dollars has been set aside by the mayor of LA just for the homeless recovery. However, Mayor Garcetti and Judge Carter, who issued the budget, are receiving some backlash from the California citizens. The LA Times states, “The judge’s order appeared to give priority to temporary shelter, whereas the city has allocated much of its spending on homelessness to permanent housing.” 


A similar plan of less money could be beneficial to the city of Atlanta. As the population of Atlanta is smaller than Los Angeles, and the homeless population is decreasing, Atlanta is setting a good standard for the rest of the country.