Nearly 300 forced to transition out of homeless shelter - CBS46 News

Nearly 300 forced to transition out of homeless shelter

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

A crucial countdown is starting for some of the poorest among us. Soon, northeast Atlanta's Peachtree-Pine Homeless Shelter will start winding down.

CBS46 learned the shelter won't shut down immediately, but instead the nearly 300 people who live there will have to start transitioning out.

CBS46 discovered one family's pressing need as the city plans for what's next.

"I've been doing construction for two and a half years, been life guarding for 15 years, I teach aqua-jogging and water aerobics," says Jermaine Hill.

Hill has skills, he's just looking to put them to work for a paycheck.

"The company I was with kind of fell under, lost a couple of contracts," says Hill.

Others are depending on him.

"Me, my wife and two daughters -- 14 and 15," says Hill.

All of them are temporarily staying at the shelter.

"They're doing pretty good with transition, but I know it's wearing on them," says Hill.

"It's really not a problem. If we look at it as an opportunity, it's like Atlanta's Olympic moment, the next Olympic moment for us to really love people the same way that we love building buildings," says Atlanta city councilman Kwanza Hall, who is also a mayoral candidate. 

The shelter is in Hall's district. On Tuesday, he hosted a Facebook Live forum about solutions with a major from the Atlanta Police Department and the executive director from the United Way's Regional Commission on Homelessness. 

On Monday, teams of counselors will be coming in and assessing the needs of the men, women and children. Then, they'll have 45 to 60 days to offer help, placing folks in temporary or permanent housing, job training or mental health and substance abuse counseling, if they want the help.

When told about meeting the family who needs permanent housing, Hall said, "The good thing is...families and children first."

"I trust in the Lord, he's going to guide me through, but I don't want no handouts from nobody," says Hill. "I'm a man that's trying to take care of his kids and my wife."

CBS46 gave the people at the United Way the name and numbers for the Hill family to see if they can get immediate help. They also say if you're trying to help a person who's homeless, call the United Way's 2-1-1 or refer people to the Gateway Center.

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