Changing leaves and temperatures means pumpkin spice lattes and Christmas music for some, but for many Athens locals it means finding a warm place to stay at night and figuring out how to provide for their families. One Athens homeless shelter is already unable to accommodate many people, as they reach capacity almost every night.
According to the US Census Bureau, 36.7% of Clarke County falls below the poverty line. The median household income lies at $33,060.
Bigger Vision shelter (http://www.biggervisionshelter.org) accommodates 36 people and at times accept 46 during the colder winter nights. However, they have more requests than they have beds.
“We do turn away quite a few,” said Mitchell Holland, Bigger Vision shelter manager. “Last year we saw 312 unique individuals over the course of 6 months.”
Bigger Vision is not the only shelter at full capacity located in Athens. While they provide a lot of resources to impoverished people in Clarke County, Athens Area Homeless Shelter does not allow walk-ins and is currently at-capacity with six families.
With the holiday season and colder temperatures approaching, more people could be compelled to assist those in need. There are many organizations both locally and on campus that welcome volunteers. Athens PBJ (http://www.athenspbjs.org), Campus Kitchen at UGA, Shop with a Bulldawg (http://swab.uga.edu).