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Marshall Rancifer found recovery after addiction. Now he helps Atlanta’s homeless get off the streets.
Six nights a week, Marshall Rancifer visits Atlanta neighborhoods to help thousands of homeless men, women, and children by passing out meals, hygiene kits, overdose medication, and condoms—and, if they want, referrals to permanent housing or treatment.
The Dignity Museum, an exhibition that focuses on the challenges and bias of homelessness, officially opened this past Saturday in a bright red shipping container at the College Park headquarters of nonprofit LoveBeyondWalls.
Last winter, nearly a dozen people in the greater Atlanta area died of hypothermia from freezing temperatures, the majority of whom were homeless. When temperatures plummet, homeless Atlantans have limited options in finding a safe, warm space. Here is a list of Atlanta's current emergency warming shelters, how to contact them, and when they begin receiving people in need.
When he was suspected of starting the fire that collapsed a portion of I-85 in Atlanta, Basil Eleby—a homeless man who grew up without a family and struggled with addiction—was facing felony charges that would put him in jail until he was in his sixties. But one year after the fire, Eleby is on the path to recovery, thanks to the help of the Atlanta community.
Although Atlanta’s largest homeless shelter is scheduled to change hands at the end of August, it will remain open for at least another month until its residents have been placed in other facilities and housing programs. That’s the first message that Jack Hardin, co-chairman of the Regional Commission on Homelessness, wants people to know.
On a Monday in June, 25 years ago, activists broke into the vacant Imperial Hotel, made their way to the highest floor, and lowered a massive sign emblazoned with the directive: “House the Homeless Here.” Soon the encampment inside the historic hotel numbered 100 protesters.