ATLANTA - Atlanta’s largest homeless shelter will soon close its doors. But it’s not just the people who live there right now that have concerns.
New facilities will take in some residents from the Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter, but others will be back on the streets.
City leaders and residents say the shelter spillover is already a chronic problem with discarded food and trash littering the city’s sidewalks, which are also used as bathrooms.
A neighbor told FOX 5’s Morse Diggs he didn’t know about the shelter when he decided to move a couple of block away and now some of his family and friends don’t want to come visit him.
“It’s pretty shocking, you know, we pay pretty good money to live here and then you have that just steps away from your house,” said Demetrius James, a downtown Atlanta resident.
After a long political fight, the shelter is in the middle of a pending sale to a downtown organization.
Councilman Kwanza Hall say he has taken part in those talks.
“What we’ve discovered over the years is it’s had a negative impact on everyone who had lived here,” he said. “We have seen everything—loitering, trash, camping out on city streets, camping out on private property. It’s not legal, and that where we run into another type of challenge.”
Morse asked, “Well, what is the police department going to do about it?”
“So, speaking to that, the police are a part of this conversation,” Hall replied.
Assistant Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant said, “They are a lot of churches that come down with the great intentions, the good intentions of helping…what they tend to do is feed people out on the street. What the city of Atlanta wants to do is stop the feeding on the streets and to allow people to move inside.”