Atlanta Homeless Registry
The goal of the Atlanta Homeless Registry, launched in January 2013, is to create a by-name registry of people living on our streets and in shelter to serve as a tool for coordinated outreach efforts as well as community-wide resource planning.
A total of 190 volunteers participated in the Registry the week of January 17, 2013. More than 749 homeless individuals agreed to be interviewed during Registry volunteer week, with additional interviews conducted in the weeks following volunteer outreach efforts.
The Registry survey includes a Vulnerability Index (VI) designed to measure health vulnerability. This data – along with other factors, such as length of time homeless – will be used to identify those individuals who are most vulnerable (i.e., most at risk of dying on the street) so that we can prioritize prioritize them for our community’s limited permanent supportive housing resources. The 2013 Registry served as a primary vehicle for driving community efforts to house 200 chronically homeless people, 550 homeless veterans and their family members, and 50 episodically homeless households by December of 2013.
In addition to equipping outreach workers with the information they need to help connect the most vulnerable homeless individuals to housing, the Registry also plays a critical role in resource planning, helping policy leaders understand the challenges and characteristics of our homeless population. Key findings from the January 2013 Registry include:
- Homeless people interviewed ranged in age from 18 to 83
- 20% are women
- 15% are veterans
- 7% are elderly (over age 62)
- 47.5% are chronically homeless
- 54% have one or more serious medical conditions
- 34% have a history with mental illness
- 64% have a history with substance abuse
- 23% are “tri-morbid,” meaning they struggled with mental illness, substance abuse, AND chronic physical illness
- Based on the number of ER visits and hospital stays, and cost data provided by Grady Hospital, we estimate that the 749 people on the Registry have an annual healthcare cost of over $8M. National studies show a 60% reduction in healthcare costs after a homeless person has been in housing for one year. This translates to a potential cost savings of over $5M for the individuals on the Registry.
For more information about findings and next steps, download the Registry Summary.
For more background on the purpose of the Registry, download the Registry Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
The Atlanta Homeless Registry is sponsored by the Office of Mayor Kasim Reed, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Hands On Atlanta, and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District.