Closing Peachtree and Pine: Evaluating Homeless Strategies in Atlanta, Georgia
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Homelessness is a significant issue facing the United States as a whole, but urban areas tend to face the brunt of the challenge. As one of the largest metro areas in the U.S., and the largest city in the State of Georgia, Atlanta has 35 percent of the state’s homeless population. In 2017, Atlanta’s homeless population was 3,572 on a given night. This equates to 75.6 homeless per 10,000 people in the general population, more than four times the national homelessness rate (“Georgia - National Alliance to End Homelessness,” 2017) (“State of Homelessness - National Alliance to End Homelessness,” n.d.). There is still much work to be done to address homelessness in Atlanta. However, homelessness is a lightning rod issue, eliciting concern and empathy from many citizens, but still garnering NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) responses when it comes time to site shelters and services meant to reduce homelessness. This applied research paper uses interviews and local data to illustrate the outcomes to individuals experiencing homelessness due to Peachtree and Pine’s closure and determine whether its closure is part of a successful strategy to reduce and eliminate homelessness in Atlanta.