Lender forecloses on homeless shelter

Bob Cramer, chairman of the board of the task  force, confirmed Wednesday that they had received a foreclosure notice this week, and the group has a month to come up with more than $500,000 to pay off the overdue loans.

Cramer said the task force had been trying to renegotiate the loans it had with Mercy Housing, a nonprofit lender in Colorado, and the Institute for Community Economics, a nonprofit in Massachusetts but the nonprofits chose to sell the loans to a group called Ichthus Community Trust, which foreclosed.

"The balloon note was due over a year ago but I think it is important to note that all the interest has been paid through February," Cramer said. "We were trying to work it out."

The task force has been fighting with the city of Atlanta about its controversial shelter, which at time houses  more than 700 homeless men.

Debi Starnes, the homeless czar for Atlanta, contends the shelter's philosophy of sheltering men without requiring them to take steps such as entering a drug-treatment program prolongs their life on the street.

Anita Beaty, the executive director of the task force, says the shelter has helped hundreds of homeless men move on to stable lives, but she considers it inhumane to refuse a bed to someone in need.

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