Homeless seek shelter in abandoned homes as temperatures drop

Georgia News

AUGUSTA, Ga. ( WJBF) — Taylor Marshall says he sees dozens of homeless people in the Harrisburg area in Augusta every day. 

“At least 100,” Marshall said.

He said there aren’t enough resources or places for the homeless to stay. 

“There used to be boarding houses around here and scattered around Augusta, but they’ve pretty much done away with all of them,” Marshall said.

When the weather gets colder some of homeless find shelter in one of the 35 abandoned homes in the Harrisburg area,  starting fires to keep warm that could spread to neighboring houses. 

“What if it was a house next to me and I was sleeping, and it starts burning and sets where I’m living on fire, and I get burned up. I think the commissioners need to get together and build more places for the homeless people,” Harrisburg resident James Walker said.

WJBF News spoke with District one commissioner Jordan Johnson who is also chairman of the Homeless Task Force.

Johnson said the task force is working to tackle homelessness and provide more resources.

“There are teams going out every weekend in different parts of Augusta to actually do outreach. Going exactly where homeless people are to give assistance. That’s the work we’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. So, the work is an ongoing process. Taking the resources directly from the office to the people,” Johnson said.

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