AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The latest numbers according to the Augusta Homeless Task Force is around 1,000 people, whether that’s living in shelters or on the streets.

And it’s not just a problem that’s hidden in the shadows, some of those streets are highly traveled like Washington Road. 

“It makes me want to cry, because I [had] seen a man die on the road from being homeless, and it’s sad.”

Housing is the obvious issue for people who don’t have shelter, but what about the not-so-obvious hurdles, like healthcare? 

WJBF spoke to some people experiencing homelessness, and they said they go to facilities, like nearby urgent cares to get treated, but don’t know where to turn for regular healthcare.

“I [have] got cataracts in both of my eyes– I’m a painter, but I can’t see. I can see, barely, out this eye,” Robert L. Matthews said.

Augusta’s Homeless Task Force is working on plans to find housing, jobs and healthcare for these people.

“And the goal is just to make sure that we’re bringing community departments together– different organizations that service the homeless come together to create strategies to solve the problem,” Dist. 1 Commissioner Jordan Johnson said.

The organization began in 2021 and meets every month, with the aim to alleviate the homelessness in the area. 

“So, when you see homeless people on Washington Road, it is the effect of closing public housing with no plan to send people somewhere else. It is the effect of wages not rising, but the cost of living rising. This is the effect of where we are not as a city, but as a society,” Johnson said.

“My concern is getting off these streets and try to find me a place to go. I’m 70 years old, I don’t want to die out here on these streets. Yep, don’t want to do that,” Jimmy Ray Wilson said.

The homeless say they just want another chance at a better life.