Atlanta gets grant to help homeless

by: John Bachman Updated:

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ATLANTA - Metro Atlanta is getting millions of dollars to help fight an ongoing problem impacting quality of life for most of us.

Channel 2's John Bachman found a young man Friday helping local homeless people. Now the federal government is helping, too.

"I stay right here on Peachtree and Pine. All they got to do is give me a chance," Georgette Davis told Bachman. She said she has a place to stay -- the shelter -- but she doesn't have a place to live. She's homeless.

"It's hard out here," she said.

Jared Willett, 20, has been coming with his family and friends to Atlanta from Loganville once a week for a year and a half to hand out 80 lunches.

"I just felt the Lord called me to come and help these people," Willett said.

It helps life on the street. Now, Georgia is getting $4.1 million in federal grant money to house 150 homeless Georgians. Much of that will go to Atlanta's homeless.

"How we treat the most vulnerable in our population speaks about who we are. But it also causes a problem to the look and feel of our city," said Mayor Kasim Reed.

Reed said he has worked to fight homelessness in the city. He recently sent 200 volunteers out to ask 800 Atlantans why they're homeless, in an effort to figure out how to best help them.

Charles Jackson is a success story.

"My heart's beating so fast right now. It's a wonderful feeling," Jackson said.

He's moving into his Decatur apartment after three years on the street. Hope Atlanta found him, and Caring Works Inc. helped him find a home. This new grant money will go to programs like those.

"It's moving so fast, I'm still stunned. I've only been with Hope for two months and already I have an apartment here," Jackson said.

With thousands estimated to be homeless in Atlanta, helping a hundred or so is just a start.

"Anything is good. Anything, if you can house one person it's a blessing," Willett said.

"It feels great. I feel wonderful," Jackson added.

Georgia's $4.1 million comes from a $98 million federal program.