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HomelessnessIn the News

AJC: Crews leveled an Atlanta homeless camp. Here’s what happened to residents

The Hill AJC
Rudolph “Pops” Earley cried recalling how his life has changed in the last 15 months. The 69-year-old Army veteran had been homeless on The Hill, one of the biggest and most dangerous encampments in Atlanta.

He thinks of the camaraderie he shared with those around him in the woods along I-85 near the Ga. 400 exchange. He reminisces about looking up through the treetops at the stars late at night. He also remembers the gunshots, people being beaten, the rats and the cold.

“I was always proud of myself that I was a survivor. I saw I could make something out of nothing,” he said. But in the middle of that, “boy, there was some darkness up there.”

Not anymore.

The Hill is gone.

Atlanta police cleared everyone from the encampment in late 2022. Then city crews swept through, eliminating tents, ragtag shelters, abandoned personal belongings and mounds of trash. Workers also removed every tree and every bush. The Hill is now scraped dirt and dried grasses.

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