Unhoused folks search shelter in bridge crawl area

ATLANTA — Think about the shock, driving beneath an overpass and looking out as much as see ft disappear into the bridge. Whereas it might sound unrealistic, it’s an actual development. 

“I noticed a man placing a giant inexperienced trash barrel down and he climbs up on prime of it, and he begins making his means contained in the interstate overpass, nearly just like an attic in a home” stated 11Alive’s personal, Crash Clark. 

He’s among the many newest to witness somebody getting into a bridge hatch. And, he isn’t alone, Whereas investigating the story, our cameras captured a special particular person getting into the crawl area of a bridge.

“Clearly they’re stepping into there as a result of they’re chilly or they want shelter, however possibly we are able to discover warming facilities or create extra shelters. However I believe that’s a hazard for the neighborhood,” stated one resident.

One other metro Atlanta resident shared those self same sentiments.

“There’s actual concern, concern for the people who find themselves residing in there as properly for the folks round there. There was a lot property injury from this type of inappropriate residing area,” Jerry Nash stated.

Individuals gathering or gadgets being improperly saved beneath roadways has many apprehensive the scenario may result in a bridge collapse just like the one in 2017. That is when a piece of I-85 fell after a large fireplace. 

Cathryn Vassell with Companions for HOME, a nonprofit that helps to attach folks experiencing homelessness with the sources, stated the priority is on their radar.

“We’ve elevated that concern to the Georgia Division of Transportation and so they realize it. They’re working to safe these areas and now we have requested that they prioritize that,” Vassell stated.

In an announcement GDOT confirmed the hassle and added they’re working with native regulation enforcement and social service businesses to safe space bridges. 

As for witnesses like Crash Clark, they continue to be in disbelief. 

“Possibly a four-by-four opening and he simply disappeared inside, there goes the sneakers and every little thing, I used to be like, ‘he’s contained in the interstate.’ I couldn’t consider I noticed that,” he stated. 

Vassell stated Companions for HOME just lately obtained $2.4 million grant to assist relocate and safe short-term housing for  folks residing close to or inside space bridges.

Atlanta Police stated they just lately did an operation a few days in the past eradicating some folks experiencing homelessness from the bridges.

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