The Buckhead Community Improvement District is happy with the payoff from a homelessness assistance program to which it contributed $50,000 a year ago.

HomeFirst Atlanta, a joint effort of the city and the United Way’s Regional Commission on Homelessness, is raising tens of millions of dollars for a variety of tactics to provide housing and otherwise reduce chronic homelessness.

The BCID contributed from the business-minded perspective of lowering the population of people who are homeless and sleeping on the streets of Buckhead’s central business district.

At a Nov. 27 BCID board meeting, staff member Matt Gore said a Hyatt hotel on Peachtree Road recently asked for help with a person who was regularly sleeping on a bench outside. HomeFirst workers contacted the man, who “declined short-term housing,” but was interested in long-term housing. HomeFirst is working to identify such housing for him, Gore said.

Ellis said the program is good for both “the right human reasons” and the business community’s concerns.

“It’s a very personal, hands-on effort to try to put those people into a stable housing situation,” said Durrett.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.