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The man above is named Roderick Streeter. His toddler Roderick, Jr. sits on his knee. Just a few months ago, Adriana Garcia, a supporter of the Feeding the Homeless Project, took this photo of them sitting on a curb at a soup kitchen. They’d been sleeping on benches for months after Mr. Streeter lost his job.

Luckily, the photo found its way to a nonprofit called Open Doors. Open Doors found them an apartment, help, and a job. Now Roderick Jr. has his own cozy room with toys, books, and something every toddler needs – dinosaurs!

Open Doors works with multifamily real estate companies to place homeless people in apartments. It’s found homes for more than 3,000 people – mostly veterans – since it started in 2012. At the same time, the number of homeless in Atlanta dropped by roughly that same amount. They can’t claim credit for all of that, but it surely made a dent. (You can read more about Open Doors in a story by Gracie Bond Staples in the AJC.)

Open Doors co-founder Aaron Goldman explains how it works, and what they need.

Open Doors is actually made up of several groups. It is a city-wide partnership involving:

  • The Atlanta Real Estate Collaborative, a group of private individuals with extensive real estate experience who have united to share their professional expertise in housing with those in need.
  • Enterprise Community Partners, which develops affordable housing
  • Project Community Connection, Inc., or PCCI, which collaborates with local partners to develop new and innovative practices to improve and enhance local homeless services
  • Several nonprofit service providers including United Way and many, many more.

One of the best things about doing PR is working for companies like law firm Morris, Manning & Martin that support causes like this. Many current and former multifamily real estate clients are involved as well!

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