Booming Downtowns Are Squeezing Out Homeless Shelters

In downtowns across America, booming development has come at the expense of crucial homeless services that have traditionally located there.
July 17, 2017, 11am PDT | Elana Eden
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"Across the country, downtown homeless shelters are caught in a perfect storm," reports Kriston Capps for CityLab.

"Property values throughout America’s urban cores are rising, making the work of sheltering the disadvantaged less sustainable and desirable downtown, even as displacement adds to their ranks. Plus, scarce federal dollars for supporting the homeless are increasingly directed toward programs that provide housing for the chronically homeless—which is great, and a big success, but not so helpful for families who are struggling with a sudden crisis that has put them on the streets."

Capps explores the local and national factors that play into this trend, showcasing in particular a shelter in Downtown Atlanta. That desirable property was purchased for nearly $10 million after it was forced to close. Its owner commented, "The developers really cemented their control over Atlanta, to reenvision and redevelop Atlanta. Now the only housing policy in the city is gentrification."

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Published on Friday, June 30, 2017 in CityLab
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