Atlanta will soon get hotel rooms for homeless individuals
A new homeless funding package which would include a plan to buy hotel rooms for the homeless using taxpayer funding has received unanimous support from the Atlanta City Council and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
ATLANTA - Taxpayers in Atlanta will purchase hotel rooms for homeless individuals to stay. The new funding package -- $3.5 million overall -- is backed by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
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On Monday, city council approved the initiative on a unanimous vote.
"We found our shelter beds were not being used to the extent that we would like," said Cathryn Marchman of "Partners for Home".
Atlanta's new taxpayer-funded homeless package is not without controversy
Atlanta's plan to buy hotel rooms for homeless individuals is getting pushback from fiscal conservatives who believe the plan doesn't actually solve the issue, but moves it, and also will actually draw more homeless into the city. They also believe it isn't a good idea to tap into the city's reserve to pay for it during this economy.
Last winter, the city put nearly 250 street people into hotels as a stopgap measure. Atlanta used a portion of the federal money allocated for COVID-19 relief for those rooms.
Now, new money is needed, and Mayor Bottoms is planning to go into the city's reserve account to build out the Hotel for Homeless initiative.
"It is dire," said councilman Howard Shook. But the Buckhead councilman raised a couple of issues. For one, he does not like the idea of drawing on the reserved fund for the money.
And secondly, Shook said, he is still waiting to hear about a comprehensive plan to reduce the chronic homeless problem in his district and all over the city.
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