AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Nearly 500 people are homeless in Augusta. Now the city is planning to use millions of dollars of federal COVID-19 relief funds to build a shelter that would provide more than just a place to sleep.
“This is a very important and progressive step for us,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.
Augusta commissioners approved a plan Tuesday, 7-3, to use about $2.2 million in American Rescue Plan money to fund the development of a homeless shelter.
The mayor said, “In our memo, we talked about wraparound service. That’s so important for many people in our community. That not only do we provide them with a place of shelter, but more importantly with wraparound services that will allow them to have their needs met.”
Wraparound services at the shelter would support the homeless in all aspects of life, according to Davis.
He explained, “When you think about the appropriate facility with those wraparound services, it’s the entire continuing of care while at the same time providing life skills that will allow them to be mobile as well as being able to get back into the workforce.”
Commissioners also gave the green light for Augusta Housing and Community Development to hire two people to assist with the shelter project. A decision has not been made yet as to where the shelter would go but Davis says the city has plenty of options.
“There are a number of current facilities the City of Augusta owns and we’ve talked about utilizing existing facilities for the purpose of standing up this congregate housing. All of that has not been defined,” said Davis.
The City is also investing about $640,000 in Harrisburg to build more affordable housing.