Homeless in the ATL


Homeless woman on one of Atlanta’s most known streets, Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta.

Homeless in Atlanta.  The Jewel of the South.  Black Mecca.  Home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Civil Rights. How can this be? 

Atlanta is also #1 in the nation for income inequality. Lots of people with money. Lots of people without money.  Almost no one in the middle.  Affordable housing needs unmet with tens of thousands of units needed in Atlanta.  Other cities have similar needs.  But, many believe Atlanta should be doing better than other cities and should be the model . How is it that those with so much not see, care or help solve this rapidly growing social issue?

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, housing is one of humanity’s most basic needs.  So again I ask, how can this be??

It is bad to see homeless men.  It is even worse to see homeless women. Ir is even worse to know some of our homeless are veterans who have proudly served our country.  As we saw recently with a former Cosby cast member working in Trader Joe’s, almost anyone can fall on hard times.  Where is our compassion and humanity?

Across metro Atlanta, we find funds for a $23 million bridge and replace the sidewalks around it.  Meanwhile, other parts of the city have been asking for sidewalks for decades.  How can we solve this huge homeless problem??  Why not have a contest and ask for solutions from our citizens and have them present to a “Shark Tank” like panel that will get matching funds from Atlanta Housing Authority, Invest Atlanta and some local private funders??

I pray that sooner rather than later, Atlanta and cities across  our nation will find the solution to our rapidly growing homeless problem.  I pray the woman in this photo is able to get off the streets soon.


Homeless Camp at Local Post Office


As most people did today, I put on several layers before venturing out in the 29 degree Atlanta weather.  Nice and warm. I warmed up my car,  turned on the heat and drove over to the Ben Hill post office to drop off mail.

However, when I entered the door, a peculiar odor was in the air.  I discovered there was a homeless man camped out there. He startled me.  Seeing the look on my face, he said “M’am, you know it’s real cold outside.” I agreed.. Knowing he needed  transportation to the  City’s closest warming center over at the Old Adamsville Rec Center on M.L. King,Jr. Drive at DelMar Lane, I called Atlanta Police Department (APD) Zone 4 to ask if they could send an officer or someone to take him over to the warming center.  The officer said, ‘of course they would’ and she thanked me for calling.


When the Officer Polencia arrived, he spoke politely to the homeless man who said his name is Dave.  Dave said he is an Army veteran who is waiting for his friend who lives a few houses down to get off from work who he stays with overnight.  Polencia offered to take Dave to the warming center, but he refused saying he is okay.  Polencia told him he could not stay there.  Dave assured the officer he was going to leave.


I left and checked five hours later at 9:20pm and not only was Dave still there, but another homeless guy was also.


This is not good!  Unfortunately, these are  not the only two homeless people in southwest Atlanta.  So, I sent an email to Councilman Andre Dickens, NPU-P Chair Reginald Rushin and CBS 46 TV.  They all responded within minutes.  Yet none of them mentioned transportation to the warming center.  With a shortage of APD officers, do we really want them to run a shuttle service?

With no one else to call, I called Zone 4 again. This time I spoke to Sgt. Bowers who said they would send someone over.

So, is Atlanta a city too busy to have a plan in place for transporting its homeless to warming centers when we experience frigid temperatures?  This is winter. Weather forecasts are pretty accurate.  Frigid temps are always in the forecasts.  Where is the plan?  Where is the compassion from our city leaders?

Tomorrow there will be an Inauguration for The new Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms.  This is her district until then. Will her successor, councilwoman-elect Marci Overstreet, and the other city council members (half are new) devise a plan to help our most vulnerable citizens?

Time will tell whether Atlanta will be too busy to devise and implement a plan.  Will you hold them accountable??

Shiloh Hills Baptist Church Youth Help the Homeless



Today as I exited the Garnett MARTA Rail Station, I saw a group of youth helping the homeless.  All the way from Shiloh Hills Baptist Church in Kennesaw, Georgia; these kids are getting to see, process and make a difference for a few people who are struggling to survive during this Christmas season.



As the middle and high school youth approached the homeless with blankets, hats, gloves, and kind words, it warmed my heart on this 36 degree day in Atlanta. According to one of the parents with the Shiloh youth, James, this is the 10th year they have done this mission project.  The church asks for donation of the items and then distributes them on the streets around downtown.



As I walked a block further along Peachtree Street, I see another homeless person bundled up on the sidewalk reading a pamphlet that was probably included in the bag distributed by the youth.  Then in the background of the above photo, the Shiloh Hills youth stop for a short briefing at Peachtree Street and Trinity Street  before they continue looking for homeless  people to bless.

Thank you Shiloh Hills Baptist Church youth. You did a good thing today! However, it is my hope that ten years from now, homelessness will be eradicated and you will have to find a different outreach ministry project.

For information about Shiloh Hills Baptist Church, visit: http://www.shilohhills.com/church/index.php/about-us/church-staff

As we continue prepare for this Christmas season, remember how blessed we are to have a roof over our head and heat. And, as you remember the true meaning of Christmas, think of how you might be able to bless someone in a small yet significant way.

GA State Troopers Help Homeless Man

We hear so many horror stories about how law enforcement handles homeless people when they encounter them, I am excited to report that GA State Troopers helped a homeless man.

When this unidentified man appeared to need help when he came to the Georgia State Capitol, they called social services workers.  In the midst of all the negative things going on across our city, state and nation, I spoke to the Troopers afterwards to thank them for their act of kindness. So often I have seen homeless people being arrested and sent to jail when businesses and law enforcement encounter them.

So, thank you GA State Troopers for doing the right thing!! 👏🏽

In the photos above, on the left. The lady in the tan blouse and the man in the short sleeved shirt are the social workers.  To the right, the homeless man is sitting on the window seal.

The Troopers called the Georgia Crisis & Access Line.  See the card below.  Store the number in your phone and share it on your social media.  You can use it to help anyone you know or notice who needs help.  It is a “win-win” for the community and the individual.



Mercy Given To Convicted Atlanta Public School Administrators

Earlier today Judge Jerry Baxter reduced sentences for the three Atlanta Public School convicted administrators that he gave the longest prison sentences. Originally, Tamara Cotman, Sharon Davis-Williams andand Michael Pitts were convicted of racketeering each given a 20 year prison sentence to serve seven years, 13 years probation and a 25,000 fine two weeks ago.

With national attention, local outrage, local protests, and a huge media frenzy with various education and legal experts theorizing why the sentences were so harsh for these non-violent, first time offenders; Judge Baxter held aa revised sentencing hearing today. The new sentences for each of the three administrators is a ten year sentence to serve three, seven years probation, 2,000 hours of community service, and a $10,000 fine.

As many in the packed Fulton County courtroom sat anxiously waiting for the new sentences, Judge Baxter seem to ramble along during his remarks mentioning he thought a lot after the original sentencing. And, kept thinking that something was wrong with the original sentences and decided to re-sentence the three and give a fairer punishment.

I still believe the punishment should have not wasted tax payer money with actual prison time. These jails are so over crowded that there often is not enough room for violent offenders to the point that there is an early release program in place. Instead of actual jail time, Baxter could have sentenced all eleven defendants who went to trial two to five years of teaching reading, writing and math to prison inmates.

With 70% or more of inmates who do not read, that would be a more appropriate punishment that actually fit the crime/conviction with no fine. Some, if not all of the APS teachers and administrators accused in this cheating scandal have already been ruined financially, lost their homes, their right to vote, and may even lose their pensions. Why pour salt in the financial wound?  What purpose does it serve?

What do you think would be the most appropriate punishment and why?