Lead photo: People in the homeless encampment being moved to a hotel. Credit: Moses H.M.
In a huge victory for the Atlanta Homeless Union, instead of seeing the destruction of their shelters with no plan for re-housing, an entire encampment of people won a month’s stay at a Motel 6.
On Feb. 8, Fulton County Sheriffs reportedly threatened to forcibly remove all people from a homeless encampment in front of Atlanta City Hall at 4 a.m. and arrest anyone who refused to leave. After a protest by the Atlanta Homeless Union, the police never showed.
Instead, after significant news coverage of the protest, the City of Atlanta arranged to house all the individuals at the hotel.
Liberation News spoke with Will Price, a leader of the Atlanta Homeless Union who lived in the camp. About the resolution to the situation, he said, “This is a victory for the homeless in Atlanta, Georgia. This is a great city, but it has deprived the homeless of all things. United we stand, but divided we fall. Today we stood against a giant. Atlanta: Support the homeless, listen to their needs, they all have a story to tell. Atlanta: We won.”
Regarding the next steps for the union Price added, “The Homeless Union will continue to support the homeless. We will fight not just for a temporary stay at a motel, but a home for everyone to live in.”
Unhoused people in Atlanta face freezing temperatures and harsh conditions. Recently, several people died who were living on the streets in downtown Atlanta. One man, named James, who was a friend to Price at the camp near City Hall, died last week.
“There’s too much money in this city for its citizens to have to go like this staying out on the streets,” said one man at the protest. He continued, “They can afford decent housing for the people here, they can make it. You go to the shelters, they’re always full. There’s only two emergency shelters here. And most the time you go there they’re always full. It’s time for the people, the citizens of Atlanta, to step up to the plate and just remember that they are not the only ones in this city, help people reach out.”
The Atlanta Homeless Union was formed in July of 2021. More on its formation can be read here on Liberation News.
In recent years, homeless people themselves have begun to organize under the slogans, “Homeless not helpless,” and “You’ll only win what your organized to take.” For more on this national movement visit the National Union of the Homeless website.