According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, there were roughly 14,000 Georgians living in various states of homelessness in 2015, the most recent year for which numbers are available. Almost half will spend this holiday season without shelter.
In previous years, one of the largest providers of shelter in the Southeast is the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless' was housed at Peachtree-Pine shelter. With that facility closing, the residents who once looked to Pine Street for housing will have to relocate.
In additon to Peachtree-Pine, there are other viable efforts to support and house Atlanta’s homeless or those whose hearts are calling on them to be of service to the homeless this holiday season.
Here are a few places to start:
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2353 Bolton Road NW (administrative office), 404-588-4000
The largest and oldest provider of homeless services in the Southeast, Atlanta Mission serves more than 1,000 homeless men, women and children every day. Since its founding in 1938, the Atlanta Mission has grown from soup kitchen to provider of emergency shelter, rehab and recovery services, vocational training and transitional housing. Seventy-six percent of donations go directly towards programs and services.
In addition to its regular opportunities for volunteering and donations, the Atlanta Mission keeps a running list of urgent needs. For men, the Atlanta Mission is a great place to take gently used cold weather clothing and backpacks.
1484 Brockett Road, Tucker, 678-775-1401
HomeAid Atlanta builds and renovates transitional housing facilities for homeless service agencies of Atlanta. Unlike more generalized outreach programs, HomeAid Atlanta seeks the specific skills and materials needed to construct housing. Explore HomeAid's need for builders, trade contractors and building material suppliers, as well as their needs from others in the community.
607 Peachtree St. NE, 404-892-3713
The Atlanta Children's Shelter assists homeless families with children under the age of five through direct services like early childhood education and nutrition and wellness programs. It also provides parents with social services, case management, rapid re-housing and employment support.
There are more than 58,000 homeless children living in Georgia, 42 percent of whom are younger than 6 years old. Of the estimated 20,000 youth qualifying for Atlanta Children's Shelter's support services, only 40 families in need can currently enroll in the shelter's programs. You can donate or volunteer with ongoing family services or you could host a fundraiser for the organization.
275 Pryor St. SW, 404-215-6600
Located in a building that was once the Atlanta city jail, today Gateway Center houses 330 free men who are "actively working to end their homelessness." The program enrolls features on-site residential programs, including training and support, recuperative care, stabilization, employment, pre-treatment, Veterans' programs and more.
2585 Chantilly Drive NE, 678-856-7824
According to Lost-N-Found Youth, an Atlanta nonprofit seeking to end homelessness for LGBTQ youth, more than 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. The group seeks donations, frequently requested items and peer-to-peer fundraising.
1559 Johnson Road NW, 404-589-0163
Covenant House provides "more than a bed and a meal for homeless and trafficked youth; we show unconditional love and give comprehensive support so that our youth can and will realize their fullest potential." The organization offers numerous programs, including a crisis shelter and various mental health services.
824 Memorial Drive SE, 404- 223-5180
The largest nonprofit homebuilder in the metro area, Habitat for Humanity "transform neighborhoods by bringing generous donors and hardworking volunteers together with working families to build high quality, green homes."
Income-qualified families can buy affordable homes through no-profit, no-interest loans. Though working with Habitat for Humanity won't take the immediately homeless off of the streets, the group's efforts help the communities, economies and, most notably, the local residents in need of a hand up.
Still looking for the perfect outreach partner?
Visit the Homeless Shelter Directory to review a comprehensive list of homeless outreach organizations in the Atlanta area and spend your holiday season involved in the effort nearest to your home or heart.