Mayor discusses homelessness report in Savannah

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 1:10 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2023 at 4:42 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Mayor Van Johnson previewed the release of the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless’ “Point in Time” count at his weekly news conference Tuesday.

That’s an annual report that provides a snapshot of homelessness in our area and across the country. It takes place during the last week of January.

Mayor Johnson says before this year’s “Point in Time” count, the homeless authority did an intensive canvassing of Chatham County, identifying 80 locations as places where people were living that aren’t fit for “human habitation.”

There were an estimated 277 people living in those encampments.

In the last 90 days, the mayor says the homeless authority provided funding for bus tickets to 119 people to help them return home to either friends or family who have agreed to provide housing.

“We are not going to do what people do to us. We’re not going to just put people on a bus and just send them with no one to receive them. So the 119 means we’ve contacted them, we’ve identified a family, a friend, or loved one that is going to receive that individual when they get to wherever they are going,” Mayor Johnson said.

Mayor Johnson admitted that the city has seen an influx of people experiencing homeless, but that officials are working to expand care and shelter services in Savannah.