Tag Archives: shelter

The End? Eviction order for Peachtree-Pine shelter (Updated)

21 Oct

Order (PDF)Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall Sr. issued an order this week allowing the owners of the building that houses the men’s shelter at Peachtree and Pine Streets to begin eviction of the shelter’s residents and management as early as next Thursday.

“The record is replete with evidence that the Property is in deplorable physical condition and cannot offer adequate benefit to the less fortunate members of society,the very persons whom the property is mandated to serve,” Schwall wrote in the order signed Monday.

“The Court is not assured that Plaintiffs have the best interests of these community members in mind,” the judge continued, and added in a footnote that “given Plaintiffs allegations and conduct, one could determine that Plaintffs are less concerned about the plight of their community and more concerned with embarrassing Defendants and tarnishing reputations.”

Stephen Hall, an attorney for Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, which mananges the shelter told Creative Loafing that he intends to appeal. But Schwall’s order states that it “shall not be stayed pending appeal,” meaning that an appeal won’t keep the eviction from going forward.

Even if an appeal could stall the eviction, a federal judge ruled in September that the City of Atlanta can demand payment of at least $147,000 that the shelter’s management owes for overdue water bills. If the bill isn’t paid, the city is authorized to cut off the shelter’s water service. With the shelter’s water cut off, it would probably be swiftly shut down by Fulton County’s health department.

The order was welcome news for the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance, which has long regarded the shelter as a nuisance. “It is with great hope that we will soon be writing the final debriefing for this dreadful phenomenon that has afflicted our community for many years…,” MPSA wrote in an online bulletin.

But the shelter’s management hasn’t given any indication that they intend to go quietly. Jim Beaty, who is married to Anity Beaty, the executive director of Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, wrote Thursday that the “angry [o]rder will be appealed, but no one knows what might happen.” Beaty also said in the post that some people plan to “occupy” the building and force the city to physically remove them.

Even with the Peachtree-Pine shelter open, people are already sleeping and stashing their belongings in every imaginable place in the neighborhood around it. Someone has recently even started sleeping standing up in a doorway outside my apartment building. (We’ve already nearly given each other a heart attack several times.) If that facility is shut down,  a lot of questions remain about where the people who sleep there each night will go.

But Vince Smith, executive director of Atlanta’s Gateway Center said that preparations are being made to provide shelter for people who need it. When or if the shelter is shut down, Gateway and other organizations in the city are working together to establish a safety net for people who would otherwise find themselves back on the street at night, Smith said.

Update: The AJC reported that Judge Schwall vacated the dispossession order late Friday afternoon. According to the AJC story, the Task Force filed a motion to recuse, which somehow slipped through the cracks and has yet to be addressed by the court.

But even if Schwall’s order isn’t reinstated soon, there still remains the issue of the well over $100,000 that the shelter’s management owes for overdue water bills. That amount is due by the end of the month, the AJC reported, now just eight days away.

Well, this ought to be interesting.

8 Dec

The new owners of the building now occupied by the men’s shelter at Peachtree and Pine are scheduled to have a hearing on their motion to evict the shelter from the space Thursday, according to the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance.

Thursday’s docket isn’t posted online at Fulton Superior Court’s site yet, but should be there Wednesday evening. As of right now, the hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 9 in courtroom 5E, according to MPSA’s announcement.

Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless appears to be carrying on as normal in the space, though, even opening a coffee shop on the Peachtree Street side of the building late last week.

Again, I’ll believe it when I see it. Evicting homeless people from a shelter in December is not going to play well politically. The shelter’s management isn’t likely to go quietly and  another NPR story won’t be far behind if the eviction goes forward. The wheels are turning, but it’s anyone’s guess how far they move right now.

France-Atlanta, Peachtree-Pine, and the Q

2 Dec

Sorry for falling off the face of the earth for so long. But, rather than bore you with the reasons, I’ll tell you about a few of the things that I should have been writing about the last couple of weeks:

  • According to the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance, the homeless men’s shelter at Peachtree and Pine won’t exist much longer in its current manifestation. MPSA doesn’t cite a source for the info, so it’s hard to tell how legitimate it is.  As with any change this big, I’ll believe it when I see it.
  • MARTA’s first BRT projects are up and running on Memorial Drive. Although they’re lacking dedicated lanes, the new “Q” route buses do have signal priority technology, queue-jump lanes at two intersections, and limited stops. I have absolutely nowhere to go on Memorial Drive, but I want to ride it just to see how quick the trip from one end of the route to the other is. Have you tried it?
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