When temperatures drop below 35 degrees, the Athens-Clarke County Fire Department allows the Bigger Vision of Athens homeless shelter to take in an extra 10 people—more than the 34 people who are experiencing homelessness who usually stay every night.
Bigger Vision Executive Director Andrew Wilkin said about half of the people who stay at the shelter have jobs, while the other half are searching for a job or are people with disabilities.
Similar statistics apply nationwide. United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Regional Coordinator Joe Savage said about 44% of people who are homeless are employed.
“Many of whom don’t make enough escape homelessness,” Savage said.
According to the USICH, there are about 9,499 homeless people in Georgia—812 are family households, 705 are veterans, 494 are unaccompanied young adults (ages 18-24), and 1,080 of those are people who are experiencing chronic homelessness.
In Northeast Georgia, most of the homeless shelters are located in Athens.
Shelters in Barrow County
Northeast Georgia Homeless Veterans Shelter
The Northeast Georgia Homeless Veterans Shelter is a non-profit ministry for veterans located in Winder, Ga. The shelter provides up to 52 beds, transitional housing and access to support services. Those services include employment placement and help obtaining veteran’s benefits. Veterans are required to obtain and maintain full-time employment. Up to 10 of the shelters available beds can be used by non-veterans.
Address: 80 King St. Winder, Georgia 30680
Shelters in Athens-Clarke County
Bigger Vision Community Shelter
The Bigger Vision Community Shelter provides an opportunity for people to stay each night via a call-in system held at 4 p.m. The shelter provides a homemade meal, shower and laundry services. Guests must be 18 years or older.
Address: 95 North Ave. Athens, Georgia 30601
Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens—Overnight Shelter/ Day Center
The Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens overnight program provides shelter for families with children. The shelter provides meals, transportation, showers and laundry facilities. Additionally, IHNA has a day center.
Address: 393 W Hancock Ave # 1 Athens, Georgia 30601
Athens Area Homeless Shelter
The Athens Area Homeless Shelter is a nonprofit organization for families with dependent children. The shelter provides long-term shelter, employment and educational services.
Address: 620 Barber St. Athens, Georgia 30601
Advantage Homeless Day Service Center
Advantage Homeless Day Service Center is a day support service for people who are homeless and at-risk. The center is opened Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The shelter provides a laundry facility, showers, access to food, clothing, blankets and hygiene kits.
Address: 240 North Avenue Athens, Georgia 30601
Francisco Guzman is a senior majoring in journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia.
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