Local organizations distribute shelter bus passes ahead of golf week

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 7:25 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Masters week is almost here, and while the city gets ready for more crowds and customers, two local groups are making sure there’s enough room for everyone.

Soon traffic on Washington Road will be picking up, and beds at the Center of Hope might be filling up.

“We just want to remove any barriers to keep people from getting help,” said Chris Bailey, Salvation Army marketing manager. “We’ve seen a growing number of homeless folks around the community, not just around the shelter.”

On Washington road, it’s an hour and a half walk to the Center of Hope, but now a bus pass will take them to the shelter for free.

“I hope that once they get here, we’re going to get them into case management. We’re going to remove barriers,” said Bailey.

The partnership between Augusta Transit and the Salvation Army will distribute 5,000 passes starting Tuesday. They’re targeting Washington Road first.

“If folks need a meal to eat and they don’t necessarily want to stay here, it is available. You can show up, and you’ll get food,” he said.

With hotels making room for tournament guests by kicking others out, and the recent shutdown of an illegal shelter downtown, there’s no better time.

Officials expect more people in need ahead of golf week. This month the shelter already became home to nine separate families with 21 children total.

A ride to the shelter, and hopefully a ride to assistance.

If you’re at risk of being kicked out of a hotel, you can contact the center at 706-922-8369 or 706-922-8385 to get a card. The Salvation Army says this is not a temporary partnership, and they’re working to keep the initiative going.

“We’ve got some cots and some mattresses that we’re bringing in to help ensure that we have plenty of room for everybody,” he said.

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