New Atlanta Housing Help Center Opens Downtown with Help from TechBridge and Partners

Nov 1, 2023
Aerial view of downtown Atlanta skyline during the daytime. The ferris wheel and several tall, glass skyscrapers are pictured.

New Atlanta Housing Help Center Opens Downtown with Help from TechBridge and Partners

Housing continues to be the most significant unmet social determinant of health and the resulting housing instability drives poor health outcomes. The problem is made worse by the significant barriers placed before unhoused persons applying for help. A collaboration among TechBridge, the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI), and the new Atlanta Housing Help Center (HHC) hopes to alleviate this.

The new center opened in downtown Atlanta in an old office building, Two Peachtree Street, on with a ceremony led by Mayor Andre Dickens. The 41-story building will serve as a one-stop center for people seeking housing support; it will also be converted into between 400 and 700 affordable housing units.

A key to the housing center’s operations is the web portal. We developed the portal to fulfill ARCHI’s mission to Invert the Burden, that is, take the burden off of the people seeking help. The portal also lightens the load on under-resourced service providers by reducing case loads and eliminating duplicated efforts.

The portal works like this: A person needing housing resources, let’s call her Sally, visits HHC in person, or she is referred to them, or she visits their website.

Depending on how Sally comes to HHC, either she or a navigator (case worker) completes an online application via the web portal. All of Sally’s information is saved to ARCHI’s Salesforce instance, including her contact information and details of her request.

Housing continues to be the most significant unmet social determinant of health and the resulting housing instability is the most significant driver of poor health outcomes.

— Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement

The navigators then open Sally’s case, adding any necessary notes (they also collect documentation; this is currently not incorporated in the system but may be in the future). Using the information in the case notes, they determine which agencies or service providers are best suited to offer Sally help and refer her to them directly. Since HHC has done most of the casework, the service provider can more quickly and accurately decide if they are able to provide Sally with the requested aid.

Additionally, some agencies can view available cases directly in the portal; for agencies outside the system, HHC emails the case details.

The new help center works with over 200 government agencies and nonprofits (including Partners for Home, the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and Atlanta Legal Aid), helping people find affordable housing, navigate landlord-tenant disputes and eviction actions, access mortgage assistance programs, and improve their credit scores. By reducing barriers to getting help and easing the workload for these providers, TechBridge, ARCHI, and the Housing Help Center will put a significant dent in Atlanta’s homelessness.

Old Atlanta office building becomes housing help center (1 Alive News)

Photo by Nils Huenerfuerst

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