Homelessness, the Numbers

There are many factors that enter into homelessness, such as loss of a job, domestic violence, mental illnes and subtance abuse.  However, the one important factor is the breakdown of relationships and community that occurs when people become homeless. People don't become homeless when they run out of money, at least not right away.  They become homeless when they run out of relationships. And this means that the solution to homelessness necessarily involves a reestablishment of relationships and community.

According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, on the night of January 28, 2013 at least 16,947 people were literally homeless in Georgia. Just under half were unsheltered; the other 50% were in emergency or transitional housing.  

To obtain this count, on the night of January 28, 2013, the Metro Atlanta Tri-Jurisdictional (Tri-J) Collaborative on Homelessness and Pathways Community Network Institute, along with over 400 community volunteers, conducted the sixth point-in-time count of homeless persons in our community. The homeless census consisted of two types of enumerations, an unsheltered count and a sheltered count, which together result in a comprehensive picture of homelessness in the Metro Atlanta area.

Emergency Shelters 2736,

Transitional Housing: 1851,

Unsheltered:  2077

Hidden Homeless: On count night, January 28, 2013, there were two groups of unsheltered homeless people that were not counted. First, enumerators did not enter abandoned buildings to count the number of people sleeping due to safety reasons. These buildings were dark, often in disrepair and could have had drug activity occurring. Second, enumerators were asked not to get out of their cars to walk around unless escorted by police officers or as part of special teams due to safety concerns. This rule made it difficult to count people sleeping in cars because community volunteers were unable to approach parked cars and look inside.  Unfortunately, there is no current estimation formula for calculating the numbers for this hidden homeless population

According to the to the researchers' estimates, "approximately 21,111 people will experience homelessness in the Metro-Atlanta area sometime during 2013," reports the  Metro Atlanta Collaborative Homeless Census.

According to the Census, 84 percent of the people counted – are within the Atlanta city limits with more than 40 percent being women and children.  Just under half were unsheltered; the other 50% were in emergency or transitional housing.

  • One in every 50 American children is homeless, according to The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH),
  • More than 58,000 children in Georgia are homeless (NCFH).
  • 42% of homeless children in Georgia are under the age of 6 years (NCFH).


People who experience homelessness have often have trauma in their past:

  • Over 25% of homeless adults lived outside their home at some point in their childhood
  • 25% reported physical or sexual abuse as a child
  • Over 1/5 reported childhood homelessness
  • 36.2% had a history in foster care, as compared with 2% of the overall population

(Roman & Wolfe, 1995; Volk, Guarino & Konnath, 2007)

The experience of homelessness causes trauma:

  • Over 50% of adults who have experienced homeless (in the studies below) reported experiencing significant trauma (rape, combat, assault, witnessing a person severely injured or killed, accident or sudden injury, or other traumatic event)
  • 22% were physically assaulted or beaten
  • 31% were physically or sexually abused
  • 46% were shot at and 49% were attacked with a knife or sharp object

(North & Smith, 1992; Volk, Guarino & Konnath, 2007)

Homeless Families

Families experiencing homelessness are under considerable stress. Homelessness is a devastating experience that significantly impacts the health and well-being of adults and children. Often, members of homeless families have experienced trauma. These experiences affect how children and adults think, feel, behave, relate, and cope.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of American families become homeless, including more than 1.6 million children. These families move frequently, and many are crammed in apartments. abadoned buildings, living with relatives or friends. Others sleep in cars and campgrounds or send their children to stay with relatives to avoid shelter life. Once in shelter, despite the efforts of dedicated staff, life can be noisy, chaotic, and lack privacy. Homelessness increases the likelihood that families will separate or dissolve and that the children will become at risk for a life of displacement, human-trafficking, substance abuse and emotion and physical trauma.

Three decades of research and experience show that people become homeless for a myriad of reasons: loss of a job or lowered wages, health care crisis, increased rent, a family emergency or even landlord bullying. Surveys at the central intake center for homeless families in Atlanta show that more than a quarter of families seek shelter directly after an eviction, roughly one-fifth seek shelter fleeing domestic violence, and many others seek shelter after residing in doubled-up, overcrowded or substandard housing.

Many families seeking shelter recently suffered job losses or a loss of public benefits.  The majority of homeless people are homeless primarily because they cannot afford housing.

Long-term permanent housing assistance leads to significant reductions in family homelessness. A wide range of academic experts have found, in numerous research studies, that permanent housing assistance like public housing or Section 8 vouchers helps homeless families escape homelessness.  Indeed, after the Bloomberg administration eliminated federal housing assistance for homeless families in 2005, the number of families seeking shelter actually increased.


Poverty means little, if any income, chronic hunger, homelessness, lack of access to basic human needs and opportunities, severe social inequalities, minimal opportunity for personal and social development, life without social and personal respect, lack of dignity and hopelessness. In poverty, people have little power and are rooted in inequality and are denied an effective voice.

Homelessness and trauma are inextricably linked.  Traumatic experiences, particularly in early childhood, are often a contributing factor in homelessness.  And the experience of homelessness is itself a form of trauma. People who have experienced trauma may have great difficulty forming healthy attachments, expressing and regulating emotions, and acquiring a sense of mastery or self-efficacy in life. And this can lead to increasing isolation, a breakdown of relationships and community, and an eventual slide into homelessness.

We are all born with an innate desire to explore the world, acquire new skills, have new experiences, enjoy friends and family and have a spiritual connection with God. We were born with an innate spirituality, which can be defined as a sense of connectedness to ourselves, others, the world, and through Jesus Christ, who gave His life so that we might have a spiritual relationship with Him. This sense of wholeness constitutes this “spiritual birthright” of every human being. Traumatic experiences cause interruptions in this original sense of unity and well-being.  Trauma refers to anything that blocks a person’s spiritual life and inhibits that person from fully expressing his or her rich human potential.

Beats the Streets fosters communities where all people can achieve their full human potential.  We are committed to finding ways to reduce traumatic stress and create a sense of love, friendship, safety and stability for the men, women and children that experience homelessness.  We believe this has the potential to reduce the reoccurrence and heredity of homelessness.

We aim to build partnerships with the churches and congregations towards the goal of ending homelessness by re-establishing lives built on rock, not on sand.  The rich potential of church partnerships will help our participants foster a relationship with Christ, learn life skills, amd as a result, retain their housing.  Beats the Streets's needs engaging faith communities to help in ending the cycle of homelessness.  If you are in the ministry, please consider becoming a Church Partner.

Collaborating with other organizations and developing partnerships with churches, businesses, benefactors and other entities who believe in the miracle of God’s mercy in action is the means to end homelessness.



Beats the Streets is a faith-based non-profit organization transforming the lives of the homeless and those in critical need through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Beats the Streets provides immediate help with food, clothing, emergency shelter, support, and love. 

Our mornings always start with "Prayer, Worship, Sharing and Caring".  We create change in their lives and a structure for tomorrow by not only addressing the root causes, but through mentoring, educational services workshops, job development and training, parenting skills, child enrichment program, financial counseling, mental illness and addiction recovery placement, and income-based housing.

Beats the Streets provides these life resources through residential discipleship, job placement, accountability, and a self-sustainable plan for the future. Our Christian, non-profit organization also provides a constant-contact approach with the much needed spiritual, personal and professional maturation for a yearlong enrichment program.

Although we believe that redemption is the deepest need of everyone and is available only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we would like to come alongside all faiths that promote the respect, dignity and the inalienable human rights granted to all people by their Creator. 

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to help create faith-based hope and lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty and homelessness. We desire to create change and empower people to create a future that is secure, just, and free from hunger, poverty and homelessness.   With a wide variety of services to meet the needs and help the poor and homeless find their way to stable housing, meaningful employment and rewarding parenthood.Our purpose is to help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty and homelessness.  We desire to equip and empower people to create their future that is independent, secure, just and free.

Poverty means little income if any, hunger, homelessness, lack of access to basic needs and opportunities, deep inequalities, little opportunity for development, a life without social and personal respect or dignity and a deep feeling of hopelessness. 

Beats the Streets believes we can help the homeless regain their hope, their desire to live and be able to live a life of equality.  We are dedicated to improving the quality of people's lives by eqiupping the homeless with the tools necessary to help themselves, wherever the need should arise, thereby empowering them and the communities in which they live.

We desire to bring loving relationships and community to the homeless.  We long to help them regain their hope, dignity, self-respect, desire to live and ability to live a life of equality.

What Can I Do To Make a Difference?

National research indicates that the most effective strategy for addressing homelessness is to move individuals and families into permanent housing as quickly as possible. Preventing or minimizing the amount of time spent in the homeless service system and providing services to individuals within permanent housing settings are more effective than long stays in emergency and transitional shelters.

This change in our understanding of how to best impact homelessness requires a shift away from the traditional model of long shelter stays and two-year transitional housing programs. Beats the Streets has developed a transitional program involving emotional, mental, spiritual growth, career development and job placement.

We have ongoing educational and job training programs for the homeless men and women.  Please contact us if you are in a leadership role where you can hire, train or provide internship for one of our candidates in office positions such as:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • File Clerk
  • Data Entry
  • Receptionist
  • Sales and Marketing

Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. Apprenticeship programs can be sponsored by individual employers, joint employer and labor groups, and/or employer associations.  We need apprenticeships in the following areas:

  • Automotive Body Repair and Mechanic
  • Construcstion:  Bricklayer  -  Cement Mason  -  Carpenter  -  Drywall  -  Roofing
  • Carpentry is currently one of the most popular apprenticeships in the U.S.
  • Health Care has several medical programs that include medical assistant, nurse assistant and home health aide.
  • Engineering, however not every kind of engineering is offered through apprenticeships, but there are currently programs in operations.
  • Landscape, Irrigation and Outdoor Lighting
  • Plumbing has always been a field where novices learn through apprenticeships.

Contact Paul Martino at PMartino@BeatsTheStreets.org or call (678) 640-4668 to provide on the job training, internship or apprenticeships.

We love
We love
to enrich the lives of our participants through apprenticeships, educational services and workshops, job development and training, parenting skills, mentoring and our child outreach program.
We serve
We serve
the shelters of the homeless and the poor communities with minor renovation and repairs; we also build community gardens and safe play grounds to help create community.
We care
We care
for the children’s needs of those in our program and in the communities. Our day care enrichment and after school care program incorporates tutors for their educational studies and age appropriate, life skills.
We believe
We believe
as a faith based non-profit organization, it is our mission to provide aid to the homeless, those in critical need and the shelters that provide for them.

Our Sponsors & Partners

The Salvation Army
Department of Public Safety
The Home Depot
Atlanta Fine Homes - Sotheby's International Realty
Pepperoni's Tavern
Ippolito's Neighborhood Italian
Maggiano's - Little Italy
PASS - Personalized Answering & Scheduling Services
Kendra Scott
Harry Norman Realtors