Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless programs.

Families falling behind on their rent, or the homeless in the Atlanta region, can call the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless 24 hour Hotline for help. The non-profit assists residents by acting as a source of information and referrals. The hotline is often a resident's first point of contact with the Task Force.

It is available statewide and is a toll-free service. The specialists at the center serve as the hub of all Task Force activities. This is a crucial service between the homeless, people facing eviction and those who are at risk. Callers can learn about resources they need, such as temporary shelter, food, rental assistance, permanent housing, employment, and other types of support.

As part of the Task Force's commitment as well as the non-profits they work with, each agency tries to ensure that everyone in need is provided with assistance. Whether it is shelter or other vital services, the local Atlanta Emergency Overflow Shelter offers refuge to hundreds of men every night. The emergency shelter is an invaluable service for those who may have limited or no options left. The site is available to those who are seeking shelter that do not have a place to live. It will give them refuge from the streets or unsafe housing, and is most often the first step in accessing additional services and resources.

Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless is able to provide these emergency shelter beds with partners. This allows agencies to have an immediate impact on people’s lives, both by providing a place for them to stay and by linking them with additional support services through the Day Service Center, as noted below.

The staff at the Day Service Center includes many case and social workers. They will coordinate an array of assistance programs for veterans, men, women, single moms and children residing in the metro Atlanta area. The client base of the Day Center is diverse, and includes those who are facing possible eviction or foreclosure, new arrivals to the area, people with disabilities, the mentally ill or those with addiction issues, and veterans.

Resources at the center include assistance with obtaining permanent housing, employment, shelter, Social Security benefits, and state of Georgia ID. The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless programs will also coordinate access to HIV testing, referrals for medical and psychiatric care, vision screenings, and addiction recovery placement.




The RV - Resident Volunteer Program serves drug and alcohol free men who have the desire to transition into homes of their own and stop living on the streets. Atlanta based agencies encourage them to apply for the short term housing program as an initial step in the process of becoming self-sufficient. If they are found qualified, and adhere to program terms, staff members will help them locate and move into stable, permanent housing.

The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless will provide them with beds to sleep in, hot meals, and storage space for their belongings. One of the conditions is the male will need to commit to 24 hours of volunteer work per week, over a three-to-six month period.

The Resident Volunteers will be supervised by Task Force staff members. During this process the client will learn exactly what is offered from the resources available from the Taskforce. Clients gain both the knowledge and skills that enable them to act as leaders within the larger community of shelter residents. Once those goals have been met, the next step in the process is placement into the task-force Transitional Housing Program, where they typically remain for up to two years.

The male volunteers who complete the RV Program are eligible to move on to the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless Transitional Housing Program, which offers at most 24 months of case management, skills training, housing and job placement. While in the program, there are ongoing criteria that need to be met in that the participants' volunteer work continues, and they are expected to become active and engaged members of our Peachtree-Pine community.

Transitional housing is for dozens of men at any given time, and the residents are active in the operations of the non-profits in Fulton County Georgia. They will need to take on the vital role of meeting employment and financial goals in order to avoid staying in the overflow shelter. All of this serves as a supportive base from which residents can gain a foothold as they work toward self-sufficiency and stable, permanent housing.

The intent behind the Task Force's Transitional Housing Service is to help homeless individuals as well as families move out of shelters across Fulton or DeKalb County into temporary housing. They will access various social services there. Clients will have the opportunity to work on maximizing their self-sufficiency.

This Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless program is for homeless families only, but it can support people of all ages. Note that there may be a waiting list and occupancy is limited. To be considered homeless, the applicant must be living in an emergency shelter, on the street or a place not meant for human habitation, such as a park, sidewalk, car, abandoned building, or other place.





Financial and rent help from Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless

Money is available from the Emergency Solutions Grant Program. This resource targets two specific groups which are the homeless and those who are at great risk of evictions. Additional services, that are above and beyond the cash grant, may include case management and assistance with paying a security deposit or bank rent payment. The purpose of the federally funded ESG is to help keep participants in their homes or apartments. Additional uses of the government funds may be to help them as they return to a permanent housing situation as rapidly as possible.

Additional financial aid is provided by the Rent/Deposit Assistance Program from the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. This service provides eligible Atlanta residents with money for the purpose of helping them as they make the transition into permanent housing. So it helps pay for utility or security deposits or a first month's rent payment.

Depending on the amount required, the program furnishes an entire security deposit and/or first month's rent payment, either as a single organization or in conjunction with another agency, such as Catholic charities, the Salvation Army, County Welfare, or other agency.

Applicants for a security deposit are required to fit the definition of homelessness as described in the McKinney Act which is created by HUD. They also need to show proof that they have access to a steady and reliable source of income, which can include wages or salary from a job. The income can also be funds provided by public assistance programs.

Other commitments are required as well. Metro Atlanta Task Force will require applicants to participate in case management or protective payee services, for the purpose of increasing the likelihood that they will be able to maintain their new housing situations.

All Task Force for the Homeless programs and partners in Fulton and Cobb County work toward a common goal, and that is to help the homeless regain or achieve self-sufficiency. The applicants for a grant or case management tend to exhibit a number of varying needs, and require a comprehensive and intense level of assistance.

Case managers from the Task Force work closely with each family or individual in creating a self-sufficiency plan that sets out all goals. Whether someone is homeless or just facing a crisis, they need to do this and agree to a time line for achieving them.




In some cases, the case manager acts as a protective payee, meaning that he or she has control of the participant's income, along with the responsibilities of paying rent, covering energy bills, buying food and other necessities, and generally acting as manager of the client's finances for a period of time. While managing the client's finances, the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless case manager also provides information as well as guidance on money management.

The place to start this process is the Hotline. The phone number to dial is 404-447-3678, or the address is 477 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308. Taskforce operators are available.

By Jon McNamara

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