800px-peachtree-pine_homeless_shelter_east_end_of_north_facade_on_pine_streetAdvocates for the homeless, transgender activists and members of Black Lives Matter spoke out against the closure of the Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter during a raucous Atlanta City Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 3. After dozens of community members spoke passionately against the closure of the shelter, audience members chanted “shame, shame, shame” as the council attempted to get the meeting underway.

City Council President Ceasar Mitchell threatened to recess the meeting and clear the chamber if protestors didn’t quiet down and allow a vote on the minutes.

The council ultimately voted 13-1 (Councilmember Felicia Moore was the lone dissenting vote) to allow Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration to begin negotiations with the owners to acquire the Peachtree-Pine site and surrounding property. The properties are owned by Premium Funding Solutions and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Negotiations are expected to last 30 to 60 days, and Councilmember Andre Dickens crafted a resolution asking for a transition plan for the homeless people that would be affected by the closure of Peachtree-Pine.

Before the city agrees to purchase the Peachtree-Pine site or acquire by condemnation or imminent domain, it would have to come before the city council for approval.

Reed has vowed to to close the controversial shelter located at the intersection of Peachtree and Pine streets and operated by the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. Crime, drugs and an outbreak of tuberculosis has plagued the facility, which houses  700 or more homeless people each night. Reed wants to open a public safety complex on the site, with a counter-terrorism command center, police precinct and fire station.

After the vote, activists continued to chant and disrupt the meeting and Mitchell had the demonstrators removed from the council chamber by Atlanta Police.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

6 replies on “Activists square off with city council over Peachtree-Pine shelter”

  1. Kudos for the City of Atlanta, its about time Pine Street Shelter was closed!!! Based on my personal experience as a service provider, serving many of these individuals.This shelter has become a breeding ground for all sorts of criminal activities and community diseases. I often wonder, how does a shelter allow people to actually live there for years, and years? Seems to me there is a serious lack of qualified case managers, mental health, and substance abuse counselors to assist these individuals with the proper level of care. I personally know, many of them receive monthly checks and are allowed to squander them, returning at night to the shelter and that’s ok with the shelter as longer as they can get the “head count!.” I think it is a social injustice and disservice to have people just wondering around lost instead of trying to help them get their lives back on track and move on! As far as the Black Lives Matter protest at the council’s meeting I agree with to an extent, however, instead of protesting meetings they should come up with some solutions…We’re either part of the problem or part of the solution, I choose to be the latter. I plan to attend the upcoming meeting on 11/7 @ 1pm! Thank you

  2. Kudos for the City of Atlanta, its about time Pine Street Shelter was closed!!! Based on my personal experience as a service provider, serving many of these individuals.This shelter has become a breeding ground for all sorts of criminal activities and community diseases. I often wonder, how does a shelter allow people to actually live there for years, and years? Seems to me there is a serious lack of qualified case managers, mental health, and substance abuse counselors to assist these individuals with the proper level of care. I personally know, many of them receive monthly checks and are allowed to squander them, returning at night to the shelter and that’s ok with the shelter as longer as they can get the “head count!.” I think it is a social injustice and disservice to have people just wondering around lost instead of trying to help them get their lives back on track and move on! As far as the Black Lives Matter protest at the council’s meeting I agree with to an extent, however, instead of protesting meetings they should come up with some solutions…We’re either part of the problem or part of the solution, I choose to be the latter. I plan to attend the upcoming meeting on 11/7 @ 1pm! Thank you

  3. the city of Atlanta offers not one cent to help fund task force peachtree pine. Their were no safety or legal infractions at Peachtree pine. every 2 years there is a national census of homless providers. Atlanta a nd DeKlab have at least 16 shelters.

    Coalition for Homless mentally Ill
    National Coalition to End Homelessness

    I jave been involved with these 2 orgs for years.

  4. the city of Atlanta offers not one cent to help fund task force peachtree pine. Their were no safety or legal infractions at Peachtree pine. every 2 years there is a national census of homless providers. Atlanta a nd DeKlab have at least 16 shelters.

    Coalition for Homless mentally Ill
    National Coalition to End Homelessness

    I jave been involved with these 2 orgs for years.

  5. The helpline 211 is open 24 hours a day and refers callers to shelters, food pantries and drug and alscohol couseling. It is maintained by the United way.

  6. The helpline 211 is open 24 hours a day and refers callers to shelters, food pantries and drug and alscohol couseling. It is maintained by the United way.

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