Mayor Andre Dickens has allocated money to a rapid housing initiative for people experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Andre Dickens has allocated $4 million to provide new quick-delivery housing to individuals experiencing homelessness. This is part of an executive order which will launch the administration’s new rapid housing initiative.

The city’s Continuum of Care program, Partners for HOME (PFH), will receive the funding in order to acquire structures from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and install new rapid housing units on city-owned property.

“Each and every Atlantan deserves a place to call home and our Administration understands the sense of urgency to stabilize individuals and families experiencing homelessness in our city,” Dickens said in a statement. “Any one of us are just one bad day away from finding ourselves needing a hand up to get back on our feet. Working with our partners and City Council, and using a little innovation, we will swiftly deploy these resources to give folks the support they need and deserve.”

The initial rapid housing project will utilize shipping containers to reduce the cost and time to deliver the units. In the executive order, Dickens’ administration committed to build or preserve 20,000 units of affordable housing. 

The state owns multiple temporary hospitals that were constructed by GEMA during the height of the COVID pandemic, which are now being decommissioned and a portion of these facilities will be converted into housing.

Dickens said the first phase of this project will be at 184 Forsyth St. in Downtown Atlanta. The property is located near the Garnett MARTA station as well as nearby key amenities and supportive services.

Individuals who participate in the program will receive assistance with obtaining identification documents and will be connected with supportive services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment, if needed. They will also receive access to educational and employment opportunities. 

The use of shipping containers will allow for quick construction and the flexibility to relocate the units to another site in the future. The long-term goal for the city’s Forsyth Street property is to develop mixed-income housing. This will give individuals living at the site the opportunity to move to permanent housing. The implementation team will begin community engagement soon about the planned project.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta