A Place to Call Home
O’Hern House is located in the historic Auburn Avenue district of Atlanta. The program, started in 1993, is housed in a renovated historic building. It offers Long-term “low demand” housing for adults who are homeless and have chronic mental illness. Initially the resident is offered a safe haven. This alternative to living on the streets provides for their most basic needs; shelter, food, and security. As a trusting relationship develops, many residents will open up to other community-based resources that can help them achieve a better quality of living.
Each resident is provided with a room that is furnished with a bed and dresser, and most rooms have a private bath. The commercial kitchen provides meals and snacks to all 76 residents of the facility 7 days a week. It also facilitates an employment training opportunity for some residents, teaching commercial kitchen operations and food preparation. This in town single room occupancy (SRO) dwelling has lounges on each of the four floors, elevator, pool room, library, and many off site activities with transportation provided by the service provider.
This year, March 2008, the building was hit by the tornado that swept through Atlanta. The roof was torn off and the 4th floor required complete renovation. The building was damaged from the 4th floor to the lobby. The tenants and service personnel pulled together and pushed water from the building, opened the kitchen and prepared meals the next day. The tornado caused direct damage to 28 units. Eighteen residents have been housed off site since the event and they are expected to remain housed off site until August. (see site pictures below)