In the hope of stemming deaths from exposure to extreme temperatures, cities across Georgia either set up or expanded warming shelters heading into the record setting holiday cold snap. But now as the weather heats up again, the human toll of the cold is still unclear.
Given record high rents and low vacancy rates, housing providers are offering to match people up as roommates to get them off the streets. But it can be a tough sell for both renters and landlords.
Though many associate homelessness with urban centers, the problem of lack of housing is more widespread, speakers said at a recent state Senate hearing on homelessness.
A state Senate study committee heard from nonprofit and state agencies about a homelessness problem that’s been complicated by out-of-control housing costs, bureaucratic red tape and disagreements over the best ways to help.
Through the end of 2022, a special state legislative committee is tasked with studying solutions for dealing with homeless encampments after the sponsor of controversial legislation scrapped a measure that initially called for state misdemeanor offenses for camping on public property and denying cities state grants for not enforcing the law.
When the coronavirus hit, thousands of unsheltered people in the state were moved into hotels under a plan known as "Project Roomkey." Now many are ending up back on the street.