Homeless: Atlanta Essay

382 Words2 Pages
The Politics Behind the homeless in Atlanta According to the 2009 Tri-Jurisdictional Area Homeless Census and Survey there are 2,164 people living unsheltered on the streets, 2,357 people living in emergency shelters, 2,498 people living in transitional shelters with a total of 7,019 counted homeless people in Atlanta. With the economic climate that Atlanta has right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if that number doubled in the two years since the tri-jurisdictional census was taken. Drawing form my own experience of living in downtown, Atlanta is brimming with homeless people. One can not turn a corner some days without a scruffy individual asking for money or so called panhandling. Panhandling is a major problem in Atlanta because it disturbs the businesses, tourists and students from their desired course of the day which then adds unease and eventually hardening the hearts of the downtown natives. Recently Atlanta has managed to fail a little less by dropped from number two on the list of meanest cities to number four. For the past 25 years, cities have increasingly implemented laws and policies that target homeless persons living in public spaces. This trend began with cities passing laws making it illegal to sleep in public spaces or conducting “sweeps” of areas where homeless people were living. In many cities, more neutral laws, such as open container or loitering laws, have been selectively enforced for years. Other measures that cities have pursued over the past couple decades include anti-panhandling laws, laws regulating sitting on the sidewalk, and numerous other measures. In August 2005, Atlanta passed a fairly comprehensive ban on panhandling in the “tourist triangle” and anywhere in the city after sunset. The ordinance, entitled, “Commercial Solicitation,” also bans panhandling within 15 feet of an ATM, bus stop, taxi stand, pay phone,

More about Homeless: Atlanta Essay

Open Document