HomeOpinionEditorialsEditorial:The explosion of homeless in Augusta

Editorial:The explosion of homeless in Augusta



Since the pandemic, the homeless population has doubled or maybe even tripled throughout the Garden City, according to the Salvation Army.

The signs are everywhere. 

People with backpacks or pushing shopping carts are seen roaming up and down Washington Road, Peach Orchard Road and Gordo...

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  1. Hear! Hear! and Amen! Every opportunity I tell people DO NOT FEED STRAYS. It is simple animal behavior, where they find free food, they will stay. Human animals are no different. Give to the agencies who help the needy. Your dollar goes at lot further towards helping people get back on their feet and discouraging those don’t want to help themselves.

    • I sorry you think “ever increasing rents” are the problem. Government and the population’s spending determine the rate of inflation, which causes landlords to have to increase rents in order to maintain a profit. Without a profit there would be no rentals available to anyone. So the cause of increasing rents is a factor of life and cannot be stopped, only slowed down. Taxes, utilities, maintenance, management, and all the rest of the expenses have to be passed on to the renters, in order for there to be a profit. So maybe you should rethink your opinion on “ONE OF THE CAUSES OF HOMELESSNESS”.

  2. Poverty, ignorance, drug addiction and mental illness are four compartments or manifestations of the revolving door that is homelessness. Extending help to people must always include a way out of the revolving door. We will always need emergency services that provide food, clothing and shelter, but these things are merely a stopgap unless we also provide a pathway to escape the vicious and unending cycle. Success of any program should be measured in the number of people who are returned to a self sufficient existence.

    • Thank you Phil – excellent words on this.

      It is up to all of Augusta to redirect their giving to providing real help. The homeless are concerned with their needs TODAY and do no think about tomorrow. We need to avoid the temptations of providing money and instead, provide them with assistance by connecting them to the homeless based services in our community (I work for The Salvation Army) that stabilize their situation, assess their particular circumstances and set them up on a road towards housing and sustainability. It starts with their desire to receive that help but also with us not enabling their existing situation.

  3. Concerning the I-20 – Washington Rd. Intersection — The Boy Scout Rd. area along the big curve by the Motel 6 is becoming a trash heap. There’s a small, wooded area between Boy Scout and the back entrance to the Circle K that has become a campground. It’s sad, but there is help for these foragers if they choose to seek it. But I agree with the commentary in this editorial — DO NOT provide cash.

  4. I was on the Homeless Committee and a presenter stated she asked one of the homeless men why did he come to Augusta. He stated we make it easy for them. My question to the committee was “why isn’t Columbia, North Augusta, Burke and Akien Co at the table helping us with expenses”. I’ve never been invited to another meeting.

    • Venus (and everyone) –

      The Homeless Task Force meets the fourth Thursday of every month at 2pm at the Kroc Center. It is open to the community and no invitation required. Everyone please attend.

      ps – I am a member of the homeless task force and an employee of The Salvation Army.

    • Sure, Waffle House wants that action in their parking lot, taking up their employees time. These people do not want their lives to change – they eat, sleep, and drink with little cost to them. File tax returns, carry insurances, pay utilities, hah! They reject social services that provide interim food, clothing, and shelter. There is one guy who panhandles at the JBA and The Bell before every event. He is not homeless. He trespasses to check door handles of parked cars after the event starts to steal items. He gets aggressive when told to move on. He was panhandling inside The Most Holy Trinity church during a Christmas Mass. I now call RCSO the instant I see him.

  5. The problem is rapidly growing….now appears the location on Riverwatch at Claussen Rd had become infested with vagrants and prostitutes in those hotels. No longer can we dine at Waffle House there as their parking lot is a smokepit of vagarancy .

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