Athens Area Homeless Shelter provides collaborative, comprehensive services to homeless individuals and families working toward sustainable independence.
The Athens Area Homeless Shelter, Inc. (AAHS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving homeless individuals and families in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. AAHS was established in 1986 and was formally incorporated in 1990.
In December 1986, a ten-cot facility provided by the Athens Housing Authority opened its doors in response to an overwhelming need for emergency shelter in the community. Volunteers supplied cots, blankets, and a safe haven from the streets on a one-night basis for those in need.
Growing community support resulted in an expansion of AAHS and in 1988, in addition to hiring full-time staff, a new facility was acquired: an 18-bed facility for homeless persons in need of securing shelter more than one night at a time. During this time of growth, AAHS expanded its services to include three meals a day, laundry facilities, clothing assistance, and basic crisis intervention.
Barber Street facility opening: December 1990. In the mid-1990s, AAHS began to respond to the need for shelter of homeless families. The Shelter began to house three families, and continued to serve homeless individuals in two dorm areas of the facility. The JobTREC Program was adopted by AAHS from Athens Technical College, expanding the AAHS work into the Athens community to support homeless individuals not sheltered on Barber Street. Since its inception, JobTREC (Training, Referral, Education, and Case Management) has served more than 3,500 homeless individuals in Athens.
AAHS, in collaboration with Live Forward (Formally AIDS Athens), Little Angels, Athens Nurses Clinic and Advantage Behavioral Health Systems is a part of the ARCH initiative. Athens Resource Center for Hope (ARCH) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization created for the purpose of identifying gaps in the current array of homeless services for Athens-Clarke County and developing and implementing programming to fill these gaps through opportunities afforded by the Navy Supply Corps School Base Reuse Plan. Utilizing the resources of the ARCH Village, AAHS currently shelters 11 homeless families with children as they transition out of homelessness, as they access resources to help them become economically self-sufficient. Since its opening in April 2016, we are grateful to have provided shelter for over 100 families and their children - including single dads and in-tact families.