By Dean Hesse, contributor
Decatur, GA – Dekalb County is doing its best to keep its homeless residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and also comply with the governor’s shelter-in-place order by providing them up to 30 days of free emergency housing at area hotels.
The Decatur Library on Sycamore Street was one of four pickup sites in the south end of the county April 16, 2020, with P.A.T.H. (Projects for Assistance in Transitioning from Homelessness) teams from DeKalb Community Development, Mercy Care, Hope Atlanta and Grady Hospital screening and transporting over 40 people. For three weeks P.A.T.H. teams and City of Decatur Police had reached out to the city’s homeless citizens to make them aware of the event.
Transports in the north end of the county occurred last week. Once at the hotel individuals will be assigned a case manager who will assist them in obtaining ID and Social Security cards, job referrals, mental health assistance, permanent housing and other essential services.
Anthony shows a flyer describing DeKalb County’s emergency housing plan he said was given to him by a City of Decatur police officer. Photo by Dean Hesse.
(l-r) Anthony, Lamar, 4, and Lamar’s mother Paris wait behind the Decatur Library for transportation from DeKalb County to arrive to take them to a local hotel for up to 30 days. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Light from the setting sun falls on Tommy Fields as he waits for a van to arrive to transport him and around 40 others to a local hotel on April 16, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
A woman paces the Decatur Library parking lot as she waits the arrival of vans to transport her and others to an area hotel April 16, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
People walk past a portable toilet set up in front of the Decatur Library as they make their way to begin the process of boarding a van for a local hotel. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Terry sits on the curb in front of the Decatur Library as he waits for a Mercy Care nurse to check his temperature April 16, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.
A woman wheels her belongings to a DeKalb County van that will transport her to a local hotel. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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Terry Phillips from DeKalb County hands a woman a pair of gloves before she boards a van taking her and others to a local hotel. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Mercy Care Senior Mental Health Specialist LaRhonda, gathers information from a man in front of the Decatur Library. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Lee Hampton on right, case manager and P.A.T.H. (Projects for Assistance in Transitioning from Homelessness) team coordinator form Mercy Care calls another person forward to begin the transportation process. Photo by Dean Hesse.
A van from DeKalb County Community Development leaves Sycamore Street to transport some of the city’s homeless people to a local hotel. Photo by Dean Hesse.
Peoples’ belongings were placed in plastic tubs for transport. Photo by Dean Hesse.
People can be seen through the cab windows of a DeKalb County van as they wait to board for transport to a local hotel. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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