Mayor Andre Dickens, City of Atlanta to Provide Temporary Housing in Revamped Shipping Containers

Credit: Partners for HOME

As Atlanta’s unhoused population continues to rise, even as temperatures fell to near record-breaking lows in January, Mayor Andre Dickens is spearheading an innovative solution to provide temporary housing for the unhoused.

The Melody, a temporary single room occupancy development which will be located in south downtown Atlanta will house up to 40 tenants in studio-style units made up of donated shipping containers. Each unit features a bathroom, bed, and kitchenette, the city said.

As Fulton County completes its annual 2024 Point In Time Count, which provides a “snapshot” of homelessness in all Fulton County cities outside of Atlanta, the most recent numbers available from January 2023 indicated 337 unhoused individuals in 2023, although Fulton County officials recorded 337 homeless individuals in 2023, Fulton County Homeless Division Manager Dawn Butler says she believes the numbers are much higher.

Dickens, in an Instagram post, shared that the rooms are equipped with various amenities, such as air conditioning, heat, a microwave, a refrigerator, a television, free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and more. Residents have access to controlled access, camera surveillance, and case managers who provide physical and mental health support.

“Our goal is to offer privacy, independence, and a sense of community by utilizing 40 micro-unit shipping containers. This is just a part of our commitment to producing 500 units of rapid housing on public land by 2025,” Dickens wrote in an Instagram post. “Melody, alongside case management and supportive services, will make a lasting impact in addressing homelessness,” he added. 

The development is named after Melody Bloodworth, an unhoused woman who struggled with mental and ultimately froze to death on the streets in November 2022.

The inaugural rapid housing initiative reportedly is one tenet of the City Of Atlanta’s goal of providing 20,000 affordable housing units in Atlanta by 2030. 

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