National News

Large Midtown Atlanta homeless shelter to close

Posted June 26

— One of the Southeast's biggest homeless shelters is set to close by the end of the summer.

The Peachtree-Pine shelter in the heart of Midtown Atlanta has fought with the city for years to keep the doors open, but now about 200 men will have to find somewhere else to stay. After years of court proceedings, all parties involved came to an agreement to close the shelter, which has been in operation for two decades.

"I'm going to use the full weight of my office and all my authority to close and condemn that property," Mayor Kasim Reed told CBS46 in August 2015, threatening to take over the property on the corner of Peachtree and Pine through eminent domain after a tuberculosis outbreak.

On Wednesday, a Fulton County Superior Court judge signed a consent decree, finally ending a years-long battle between the operators of the shelter and others.

The group managing the shelter, the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, must be out of the building by August 28, though the shelter may stay open for a short time longer. The Task Force will receive a lump sum for the property, reportedly nearly $10 million, but must pay off liens, debts and legal fees.

"For some time now we have not been able to offer our services to that population," Jack Hardin, Co-chair of the Regional Commission on Homelessness, representing Atlanta and seven metro counties told CBS46.

Hardin was not involved in the settlement agreement but is aware of the implications. Hardin supported the closure and contends the United Way and other charities will step in.

"We are going to offer services to every single person who asks for it," Hardin asserted. According to Hardin, the homeless population in Atlanta is on the decline, but he admits closing the shelter may leave some people out on the street.

"We offer services…I can't assure you that everyone will accept them," Hardin shared.

CBS46 reached out to the operators of the shelter, but did not hear back. We also reached out to mayor's office but Thursday but he declined to comment.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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