AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) Very vulnerable at this time is Augusta’s homeless population, but the city taking new steps to provide shelter to this part of the population.
Augusta’s Housing and Community Development Department is calling it the Hotel Relief for the Homeless Initiative, and Augusta leaders are calling it the right step at this time.
“I think it’s great to see different community partners working together to find a solution for the homeless population to be able to socially isolate themselves,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
Under the program, the city will partner with the Doubletree Hotel on Perimeter Parkway to shelter the homeless
The Marion Barnes Resources Center will handle the assessment of qualifications.
The memo says Augusta’s Housing and Community Development Department will be responsible for paying the bills.
Commissioners suspect this would help isolate the homeless who have contracted the virus.
“Affect the people that have tested positive for this because at this point in time we don’t have a program other than the shelters we already have around Augusta,” says Commissioner John Clarke.
The memo to commissioners did not mention how many would be taking part in the homeless program or its costs but did say the city would be in position to be reimbursed under the federal coronavirus relief bill, but commissioners still have questions about what will fallback on the city.
“I’m in favor of doing what we can for the homeless and everything else but I want to make sure that the responsibilities of that place won’t be left on the city,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
These steps are being acted on but the Commission has yet to approve it. City leaders are expected to ratify this program at their meeting April 21st.