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Tracking Atlanta's Homeless

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Released 28 January 2011

homeless sleeping on benches "This year, in particular, dire economic conditions may have a double impact on the homeless.  Not only are we concerned about finding larger numbers of homeless individuals and families, but agencies that provide services to them are facing severe cuts in funding,"

Josie Parker, Manager of Research and Data Analysis, Pathways Community Network, Inc.

 Dire Times Compel Salvation Army to Expand Homeless Outreach

On January 25 twenty volunteers and staff from The Salvation Army joined with the Metro Atlanta Tri-Jurisdictional Collaborative on Homelessness and Pathways Community Network to conduct the 5th Metro Atlanta Homeless Census Count.

The Salvation Army volunteer group worked alongside city officials to scour Dekalb County neighborhoods in an effort to locate and track homeless men, women and children residing on the streets, or in abandoned properties.

The volunteers took count of each homeless individual, paying special attention to the location and tracking of unaccompanied homeless youth.

According to Josie Parker, Manager of Research and Data Analysis, Pathways Community Network, Inc., "The purpose of the Homeless Census is twofold: to assess the scope of homelessness in our community and to secure federal funding for homeless services. This year, in particular, dire economic conditions may have a double impact on the homeless. Not only are we concerned about finding larger numbers of homeless individuals and families, but agencies that provide services to them are facing severe cuts in funding."

"The Salvation Army Atlanta Area Command participates in the HUD Homeless Census because we recognize the importance the research and data that is generated can be used in our fundraising effotts and in the strategic development of additional sheltering programs," explained Janet Tharp, The Salvation Army's Director of Program Services, the catalyst for the Army's participation in the effort.

 In fact, the  2009 Tri-Jurisdictional Homeless Census Report showed that homeless people are now less likely to live on the street than in previous years, and more likely to live in shelters, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing.  This information was crucial as The Salvation Army expanded its Gwinnett, Clayton and Fulton Counties shelter and transitional housing programs in 2010.

With the economy still puttering, many expect that the final census numbers show a swell in homeless families and unaccompanied minors living on metro Atlanta streets.

Because of your continued support The Salvation Army can offer a number of shelter and housing, and Financial Emergency Service programs for homeless and impoverished men, women and families.  If you or someone you know is seeking emergency shelter, food or other such support, call 2-1-1 for your nearest The Salvation Army location.

            Your support is greatly needed, as The Salvation Army continues to address the increasing needs in your community.Click here to make a monetary donation to The Salvation Army programs for the homeless and hungry in your community.


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