Atlanta releases annual homeless report

Unsheltered chronic homelessness down 16% throughout the Atlanta, city data shows. AJC file photo

Unsheltered chronic homelessness down 16% throughout the Atlanta, city data shows. AJC file photo

The city of Atlanta Continuum of Care recently released the 2019 annual Point-In-Time Homeless Count report. The federally-mandated homeless count identifies vulnerable groups by conducting surveys that collect vital information such as demographic characteristics, homeless experiences, and history.

Since 2013, the CoC has gathered data throughout Atlanta to help bridge the gap between individuals experiencing homelessness and identify those in need of services, and resources, according to a press release.

Following the data collected from the 2019 report, while there was a 4.5% overall increase, the Atlanta Continuum of Care has seen a 16% decrease in the total number of chronically unsheltered homeless individuals—due in large part to an increase in the creation of low barrier shelter addressing the needs of the chronically homeless. While the emergency shelter population is up, this information shows that investments in low barrier shelter and permanent housing are effective. With continued investments in housing, the City of Atlanta expects to see even more dramatic shifts in years to come.

Key sub-populations including veterans, youth and families have all decreased, which demonstrates that investments made over the last two years in rapid rehousing solutions for these populations are having a positive effect.

Through the PSH Pipeline, Partners for HOME is looking to create more permanent supportive housing. Currently, Partners for Home has 218 units of PSH and 637 units of affordable units approved through this initiative.

The PIT count is only one portion of the larger housing data picture. The CoC is focusing on real time data which allows a full comprehensive look into actual inflow and outflow, as well as exits to housing and retention in housing.

Ongoing outreach efforts will be geared towards continuing to track ways in which the City of Atlanta can implement strategic responses and address the needs of unsheltered and homeless populations.

A full copy of the 2019 Report is available at