Former Fulton County Commission Chairman and current mayoral candidate John Eaves spent the night with hundreds of homeless people at the Peachtree-Pine facility. Amid the potential of Hurricane Harvey victims flooding Atlanta’s shelters, Eaves spoke with several of the occupants to learn actual stories from people who will be impacted by the facility closing within the next few weeks/months and what it may mean as a new wave of homeless people arrives from Texas.
“This is a unique opportunity for me to put real faces on a real problem,” said Eaves. “As chairman of Fulton County, I pushed a plan to reopen Jefferson Place (Homeless Center) with essential health and social services, but that will only hold up to 300 people. Hundreds more at Peachtree and Pine will be left out on the street. They don’t call that a stunt; they’re asking for help. That’s what I aim to do now and as mayor of Atlanta.”
Ahead of checking in at the facility around 8 p.m., Eaves made early-evening visits to some “homeless hot spots” throughout the city where at least 800 people go unsheltered; living under bridges; wrapped in blankets, tucked in corners or abandoned buildings.
“In light of the pending effects of Harvey in addition to the closing of this shelter, we need to ACT on a plan that will eradicate homelessness,” said Eaves. “My sleeping with the homeless overnight is the first step in the development of my Mayor’s Homelessness Eradication Plan. I will gather evidence from the people who know the situation best—the homeless mothers, fathers, and children.”