Three RentPath employees joined United Way on 8/19/2016, along with about 30 other volunteers (individuals in the community and various corporate groups), to hit the streets of downtown Atlanta on foot at 5am.
The efforts to connect with local homeless individuals resulted in helping 6 men and 2 women directly from the streets of Atlanta onto a bus that will take them to transitional housing.
With the immediate support of food, shower, and clean clothing, along with the long-term assistance of social workers, these individuals will take part in a plan of action while remaining in a shared apartment with other program participants.
The program has a 75% success rate of getting individuals into permanent housing while also providing the necessary resources to help prevent future episodes of homelessness.
In the words of the attendees:
QA Analyst, IT Architecture
"I think what was particularly heartbreaking for me was how quickly we had to head back because we ran out of room. This is only done once a month and we literally didn't spend a full hour out there because of capacity. It shows the financial need and reminded me how important our donations are."
Concierge, Customer Service
"This experience was so emotionally overwhelming yet gratifying at the same time. I was initially taken aback by the approach- just walk right up and engage the person directly (in most cases- wake them up).Talk to them and let them know they can get off the streets and on the bus right now. I witnessed team members do this so effortlessly and gained strength from them. I was surprised at how quickly some said yes and immediately gathered their belongings. Heartbroken by those who said no. I realized that radical acceptance is key- everyone is entitled to make a choice! Sending up a quick prayer, hopefully, next time they will be ready!"
"The street-to-home outreach this morning was an amazing, and eye opening, experience for me. Being a small part of this effort to place people in homes (tonight!) was emotionally overwhelming but so awesome!"