HOPE Atlanta provides for area homeless folks through the pandemic

Founded in 1900, HOPE Atlanta is one of the oldest nonprofits dedicated to helping people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness in metro Atlanta. As the coronavirus pandemic has made life more complicated over the past year, HOPE Atlanta has expanded its services and focused on those who are most vulnerable to the virus.

“Calls for housing assistance have tripled, while the need for food assistance skyrocketed 800%,” said Liz Liston, the chief development officer for HOPE Atlanta. “We have drastically expanded our efforts to try to keep up with the rising demand for help.”

People experiencing homelessness are specifically vulnerable to COVID-19 due to lack of access to hand sanitation, masks, the impracticality of social distancing in shelters and reduced access to healthcare. In addition, Liston noted that as unemployment rises, the number of people who are vulnerable to losing stable housing also rises.

“‘Homeless’ and ‘hungry’ should be temporary states, not permanent labels,” said Liston. “A steadfast support system for friends in dire circumstances, we work around the clock to ensure that homelessness and hunger in Atlanta and across Georgia are rare, brief and non-recurring.”

HOPE Atlanta’s COVID-19 services have been focused on reaching out to people experiencing homelessness who are most vulnerable to the virus such as older adults, diabetics and those with other health issues, and providing large-scale emergency hotel lodging for the most vulnerable. HOPE Atlanta has also worked to provide emergency rental assistance, eviction prevention and supportive housing for those that have experienced financial strain due to the pandemic.

Who’s helping?

HOPE Atlanta

Services: HOPE Atlanta distributes “HOPE Bags” (hygiene and snack packs) to unsheltered folks, provides cleaning supplies and move-in kits and distributes thousands of pounds of food each day to families and children in need across Georgia. It also works to establish emergency hotel lodging for those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and to provide emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention.

How to help: Individual donations and volunteering are the best ways to support HOPE Atlanta.

Where to donate: Visit donate.hopeatlanta.org.

How to get help: Anyone in need of housing or hunger services, can contact HOPE Atlanta at 404-817-7070 or visit hopeatlanta.org/get-help.

If you are involved in or know of an organization working to bring relief to the Atlanta community during the coronavirus pandemic OR you are with an organization with supplies that you don’t know where to donate, please email us at Shannon.n.Dominy@gmail.com.