There are no elevators to get to the top.
High above the 95,000-square-foot Peachtree-Pine shelter sits rows and rows of single beds. They’re not for sleeping. Instead, they’re garden bed, dozens of them.
Rooted in the soil of the organic garden beds grows a little bit of everything, says Executive Director Anita Beaty.
A couple of rabbits also live on the shelter’s rooftop. Since it was cold and rainy, they decided to stay inside their tarp-covered pens. A Closer Look was told an “ornery hawk” rules the rooftop, but he too was missing.
But the garden also serves as a sanctuary for the men that live in the shelter. Some help take care of the plots.
Not everyone who comes to Peachtree-Pine is homeless. Some just need help in getting a fresh start. Two clients talked with us about the personal journeys that led them to the shelter.
Who are the homeless people of Peachtree-Pine? They are men, women, children, veterans, the mentally challenged, addicts and felons. Their art has been featured in the first floor studio, along with portraits hanging there now, recently captured on film in and around the shelter.
This may be the most unusual homeless shelter in the southeast. It’s definitely one of the biggest.
The fate of Peachtree-Pine is unclear. Not everyone who walks through the shelter’s doors can be helped.
Executive Director Beaty says she’s close to handing over the day to day operations. There is pending litigation and allegations of inadequate governance. But whatever happens to the building at 477 Peachtree St., Atlanta’s homeless population will continue to need the diverse range of services and supports it offers.
Broadcast version of part three in the Peachtree Pine Homeless Shelter series.