Community members say they’re concerned about growing homeless population

ATLANTA — Homeless encampments are popping up across metro Atlanta and some neighbors say they’re growing concerned about the growing population.

Some neighbors say the issue has gotten so bad that they are considering moving.

People in northeast Atlanta residents call it a growing problem, and many say they don’t feel safe enough to walk outside alone.

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“It’s a large group of them. Sometimes they have big bags and boxes of clothes, and it’s really weird and I don’t feel safe a lot of the time,” said Erica Simon, who lives in the area around Cheshire Bridge Road and Lenox Road.

This comes days after the body of a homeless man living in an encampment near Cheshire Bridge Road and Lenox Road was found dead after he had been shot several times days earlier.

Channel 2 Action News exclusively joined Atlanta police as they spread out across the encampment interviewing witnesses and searching for evidence.


Channel 2′s Michael Seiden said that while he was with police, he spotted a tent city and massive piles of trash, clothes, electronics, food and dozens of propane tanks just feet from I-85.

Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Natalie Dale released a statement on Thursday confirming that they are aware of the issues, but that it does not fall under their jurisdiction.

“GDOT does not maintain a law enforcement arm. Instead, we work with local law enforcement to enforce state law. Our role, as a transportation agency, is properly maintaining the state’s right-of-way areas, and to clean them after people relocate, including extensive and costly bio-hazard clean up.”

A spokesperson for the City of Atlanta said they are aware of the issue and working with community partners to help provide services for those in need.

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APD’s Homeless Outreach Team, city officials and members of local outreach groups are all working together to help find some type of housing or shelter for the homeless population.