Why Homeless Veterans?
ReStart320 refocus occurred for many reasons, but primarily because we believed we could make a more meaningful difference if we streamlined our efforts to a more narrowly defined mission to help reduce Atlanta’s homeless population. We made a strategic decision to focus on homeless veterans and returning citizens leaving the Georgia prison system.
The number of veterans experiencing homelessness increased in 2020 even before the effects of the coronavirus pandemic reduced employment prospects and financial resources for their community, according to a 2021 report recently released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 2020, veteran homelessness rose nationally to 37,252 according to HUD’s annual point-in-time estimate. Atlanta’s homeless veteran population exceeded 775 including individuals and families according to HUD’s 2021 study.
We also decided to focus on Georgia returning citizens because, we believe, that if we can provide Georgia’s returning citizens the proper level of skills and support, their likelihood of returning to prison will be significantly reduced, And as an added bonus, we believe, having the proper skills will allow Georgia’s returning citizens employment opportunities making which will make housing affordable, thereby, keeping them off the street and adding to Atlanta’s homeless population.