If Mayor Kasim Reed gets his way, the homeless shelter at the corner of Peachtree and Pine streets could soon be shuttered, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Reed has called for the replacement of the oft-maligned facility, citing a report by the CDC that the building is a harbor for disease. The mayor could offer the momentum needed to dislodge what most people see as a thorn in the side of the neighborhood and an impediment to redevelopment. The argument of many goes like this: Sitting on the cusp of Midtown and downtown, the shelter has limited the connections between the two parts of the city, reinforcing the boundary created by the adjacent Connector. But the shelter is also a harbor for many of Atlanta's homeless, so what can humanely be done?
One of the stumbling blocks to closing the shelter in the past has been finding a fitting replacement, a refuge for Atlanta's homeless. Despite tireless efforts by neighbors — and numerous lawsuits — the shelter has remained open. But bolstering the mayor's arsenal is a revelation by the CDC report that the shelter is not only a popular spot for Atlanta's homeless population, but is "one of the leading sites for tuberculosis in the nation," as Reed said during a recent meeting. Though the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless has so far resisted calls for closing the current property, Reed envisions a new police and fire station for the site, which would allow the property to be acquired by eminent domain.
But fear not for those who rely on the shelter. Reed has called for the construction of a new shelter to house between 300 and 400 people. Though with some accounts claiming that more than 1,000 people are sheltered at Peachtree and Pine, it remains to be seen exactly how the overflow will be handled.
· Mayor Reed wants to shutter Peachtree and Pine homeless facility, build new one [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Reed wants to seize Peachtree-Pine by eminent domain [AJC; subscriber]