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Atlanta, GA 30308


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Fax: (678) 389-9839

Homelessness In Atlanta



The typical homeless person in metro-Atlanta is:

  • Single
  • Male
  • African-American
  • Between the ages of 36 and 45 years
  • Cited alcohol or drug use and unemployment as the primary cause of homelessness
  • Had trouble obtaining food, water, and transportation on a daily basis
  • Has been homeless for less than a year


On any given night approximately 7,000 Atlantans are homeless.


Some Additional Facts About Homelessness *


  • The median monthly income for people who are homeless is $367, less than half the federal poverty level for a single adult.


  • In 14 states and 69 metropolitan areas, the entire maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits do not cover the Fair Market Rent for a one-bedroom apartment and no state in the nation offers SSI income equal to the federal minimum wage.


  • The average adult man who is homeless is in his late 30s. Minorities, in particular African Americans, are overrepresented among people who are homeless and have a mental illness.


  • As many as 90 percent of people who are homeless have prior work histories and 15 percent to 20 percent currently have jobs.


  • An estimated one-third of the approximately 600,000 Americans who are homeless on any given night have serious mental illnesses and more than one-half also have substance use disorders.


  • Many people who are homeless and have addictive disorders want treatment, but the service system is ill-equipped to respond to their needs, leaving them with no access to treatment services and recovery supports.

  • People who are homeless frequently depend on the highest-cost public service systems—emergency rooms, hospital psychiatric beds, detoxification centers, residential treatment programs and, in some places, jail cells—which places a huge and unnecessary burden on health, mental health and correctional systems.


  • Because men who are homeless are more likely to have substance use disorders than women who are homeless, men are more often excluded from emergency shelters because these facilities often require abstinence as a condition for admission.  This partially explains why more men than women sleep on the streets


 *Information culled from The 2013 Metro Atlanta Tri-Jurisdictional

Collaborative Homeless Census and Survey. 

Statistics on Incarceration in Georgia

  • It costs approximately $72 per day and $26k per year to incarcerate someone in Fulton County
  • 1 in 15 Georgians is on probation or parole (ranked #1 in the US)
  • 1 in 13 Georgians is under some form of correctional supervision (ranked #1 in the US)
  • In 2010, approximately 48,000 individuals were incarcerated in the Fulton County Jail, which has a 2,500 bed capacity.
  • 89% are African American
  • 80% recidivism rate
  • On any given day, in Metro Atlanta (a five-county area) with a population of 3.5 million, approximately 13,000 individuals are incarcerated
  • On any given day in New York City with a population of 8 million, approximately 13,000 individuals are incarcerated.

* Information was gathered from the Fulton Co. Chairman of Commissioners

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