Six months after it was announced, Atlanta’s first Rapid Housing community is slated to open today as a means of addressing the city’s chronic homeless population and leading people toward more sustainable lives.

According to a City of Atlanta announcement this morning, the project constructed of renovated shipping containers has been named “The Melody.”

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is scheduled to lead the pilot program’s ribbon-cutting alongside other dignitaries, kicking off what leaders call an innovative solution to unsheltered homelessness and a path toward permanent, quality living situations.

The former shipping containers are meant to provide temporary housing as service providers connect The Melody’s residents with help.

Hope Atlanta issued a job opening earlier this month for a resident-assistant position that would pay $1,000 monthly and include onsite housing at The Melody.

The latest rendering and a new time-lapse video show the project is gated, with communal greenspaces and ramp-accessed decks connecting the homes and an amenities building on what had been an underused parking lot. Twenty different containers are shown arranged around the site, positioned along downtown’s Forsyth Street next to MARTA's Garnett station.

Overview of container housing, greenspaces, and an amenities building at The Melody. The Beck Group; courtesy of City of Atlanta

Prior to construction, the Forsyth Street property in question is shown at right, with downtown's main business district ahead. Google Maps

All units will aim to provide low-barrier alternatives to traditional shelters with access to wraparound services such as healthcare and employment, per city officials. 

Many of the shipping containers were donated by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, following use as temporary COVID-19 hospital facilities.

But not everyone has applauded the city’s push for quick housing solutions.

The plans drew criticism last year from a pro-business group that believes Forsyth Street is the wrong location for a village of shipping containers, in that it’s a food desert with a high concentration of nightclubs.   


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