Petition Closed
Petitioning Atlanta City Council Member Felicia Moore and 14 others

Tell the Atlanta City Council to Give Homeless Residents a Chance at a Job

Those who are homeless often have trouble finding a job because they lack an address and phone number, have long periods of unemployment, have a criminal record, or lack transportation to and from work. Some 7,000 residents of the Atlanta Metro region are homeless. First Step Staffing, and other programs like Boston's Work First, focus on putting the formerly homeless on a path to financial independence.

Earlier this week Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall asked his colleagues to consider hiring homeless workers from First Step Staffing or other similar programs for vacant staff positions. Given that unemployment is often the reason for homelessness–according to the Georgia Department of Labor, roughly 10.3 percent of  those in the Atlanta region were unemployed in August 2010–it makes little sense in the long-term to house someone with no means to become self-sufficient.

Putting homeless residents to work saves valuable public dollars, bolsters their self-worth and reduces the likelihood of chronic homelessness. Tell the Atlanta City Council to give homeless residents a chance at a job.

Photo credit: Twicepix

Letter to
Atlanta City Council Member Felicia Moore
Atlanta City Council Member Joyce M. Sheperd
Atlanta City Council Member Keisha Bottoms
and 12 others
Atlanta City Council Member Natalyn M. Archibong
Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell
Atlanta City Council Member Yolanda Adrean
Atlanta City Council Member Ivory Lee Young
Atlanta City Council Member Carla Smith
Atlanta City Council Member H. Lamar Willis
Atlanta City Council Member Michael Julian Bond
Atlanta City Council Member Howard Shook
Atlanta City Council Member Alex Wan
Atlanta City Council Member C.T. Martin
Atlanta City Council Member Cleta Winslow
Atlanta City Council Member Aaron Watson
Earlier this year your colleague, Kwanza Hall, helped an unemployed and homeless city resident get back on the path to employment and out of homelessness. With the help of First Step Staffing, she was hired as an administrative assistant for Hall, and eventually was able to secure a permanent job as an accountant.

First Step and similar programs focus on putting the formerly homeless on a path to financial independence. Those who are homeless often have trouble finding a job because they lack an address and phone number, have long periods of unemployment, have a criminal record, or lack transportation to and from work.

Given that unemployment is often the reason for homelessness it makes little sense in the long-term to house someone with no means to become self-sufficient. Putting homeless residents to work saves valuable public dollars, bolsters their self-worth and reduces the likelihood of chronic homelessness. I urge you to give the city's homeless residents a chance at a job.