Midtown News Center

Understanding the Numbers in Atlanta

Updated: 10/07/21

Credit: Partners for Home

Data collection in 2020 (data for Atlanta's unsheletered population was unavaiable for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) found there are approximately 3,200 homeless people within the City of Atlanta's 130 square-mile footprint. The count is down 25% since 2015.

It may not always seem apparent, but progress is being made. While nationally homelessness is trending upward and other cities have seen sharp increases in recent years, the City of Atlanta has seen a 25 percent decrease since 2015.

This data is gathered by the Atlanta Continuum of Care, a group of more than 100 organizations that work together to address homelessness. The group - which gets help from 300+ volunteers - takes a census every January, as mandated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The figures, while not absolute, serve as a benchmark to show trends over time.

On January 27, 2020, 3,240 homeless people were counted within city limits, 939 of whom were unsheltered (found to be outside or in cars). For context, the 2015 effort counted 4,300 homeless people overall. One of Midtown Alliance's staffers volunteered in the field for this effort. You can read about her experience here.

Key Findings

Here are some key findings from the latest report that illuminate the many facets of the challenge: 

increase in homeless since 2018

decrease in homeless since 2015

homeless adults in the City of Atlanta are dealing with a serious mental illness or substance abuse issue

are military veterans or survivors of domestic abuse

Read the Report

The latest Point in Time count for 2020 was just released in August. Read it here.


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