What Macon Offers to the Homeless Community

Sister Theresa Sullivan sees firsthand the challenges of helping Macon’s housing insecure.

Rising rents, mental health struggles, health issues, and sometimes just a safe place to get mail is why people come to Daybreak, where Sullivan serves as director.

DayBreak is a day resource center for people who are homeless and on the edge of poverty and about 20 percent of their clients have some form of housing. One of its main purposes is to provide people with their basic needs and this includes things like meals, laundry, showers, medical care, computers and an address for mail.

“Macon has different agencies that kind of deal with different aspects, of homelessness,” Sullivan said. “So there’s a lot of resources, there’s also gaps in those resources.”

Last year, Macon-Bibb and United Way launched United to End Homelessness to begin tying together a range of services already available to Macon’s homeless. Macon has organizations that provide everything from food, laundry and transportation to housing and medical care. 

“One of the good things about Macon-Bibb speaking generally is that our approach to addressing persons experiencing homelessness is a bit more holistic and compassionate than others,” said Rev. Jake Hall, who is director of United to End Homelessness.

He said there is a continuum of housing options in Macon that start with emergency shelters and then run up to permanent housing.

Emergency Shelters are typically designed for people who do not have income and or resources, and these are often available on a limited basis that may include only a night at a time.  Similar to this is Rapid Rehousing, which is designed to help individuals or families who fall out of housing stability and stabilize those who need it for sometimes up to a couple of years.

Job loss, a domestic issue or in recent years, the eviction crisis and foreclosure have all contributed to housing insecurity.

We’ll take care of you, you’ve slipped through the cracks of our collective social contract, you need emergency shelter,” Hall said. 

The Brookdale Resource Center is an emergency shelter, with two shelters in its facility — the 90-day housing program and the Hello House. 

The larger resource center is the three month program designed to help participants become financially independent and move into stable housing. The program provides housing and meals as long as the individual can take care of themselves mentally and physically as well as take any medications on their own. 

“We’re an old elementary school, and we have three halls, and each hall is dedicated to each demographic,” said Alison Bender, who is executive director of Brookdale. “We have men on one hall, women, and some families on the hall together and then a family hall.”

In April, Hall said there were 31 children at Brookdale Resource Center.

“It’s the largest demographic (at Brookdale) are families experiencing homelessness for the first time and that it’s nearly wholly due to rising rents, economic pressures,”  Hall said. 

The Hello House is a short-term shelter added in January, which provides overnight shelter as well as breakfast and dinner daily.

In both the Resource Center and Hello House, case managers are assisting in helping find employment, and in the Brookdale Center, where families are typically held, help children register for school. 

Bender emphasizes the goal at the Brookdale Center is to get homeless people to where they can be in permanent housing and not have to come back to either the Hello House or the resource center, but unfortunately, people sometimes return.

Housing Choice is for low-income families, disabled persons, and the elderly who get assistance in paying for all or part of their housing through government-subsidized vouchers. Permanent supportive housing, particularly for those who are disabled or elderly, can be a part of this.

“Permanent supportive housing provides you shelter, safety, and also some wraparound service,” Hall said. The wraparound can be things like mental health support, financial counseling, transportation or job training.

Beyond government and non-profit supported options, there is an ongoing need for affordable housing both Hall and Sullivan said. This is partly what led Daybreak to partner with the Macon Housing Authority to build 82 units of affordable housing in the downtown area as well as an 11-bed respite clinic for housing insecure people who are recovering from an illness or hospitalization.

“We’ll have 16 units for people who are chronically homeless,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said mental health issues and sometimes substance abuse can make it hard to reach the requirements for housing support.

“Many times the challenges to getting into those systems is too high, too challenging for our people,” she said. “A lot of times they won’t get that addressed and if they don’t get that addressed, then they can’t get to the next step.”

About 20 percent of their visitors do have housing but need help with other basic needs like food or need a safe place to get mail.

“They may use up all of their money for housing,” she said of the food insecure people they help. “You may be in a house with no running water and they come here and get the shower. So it’s also filling the gap.”

DePaul USA, which runs Daybreak, also has a mobile app where you can find what you need in areas like food, clothes, and groceries, Sullivan said.

Hall said there are daily feedings downtown. For example, Daybreak has breakfast, Loaves, and Fishes does breakfast on Tuesdays, Mulberry Outreach  provides weekday food, Christ Church has food on the weekends, and then most of the day shelters and night shelters feed people for free.

“There’s no reason to go hungry, and there’s no reason to hand out $20 to anybody on the street because there is like food everywhere,” Hall said. 

He also said the library is often an overlooked resource for the housing insecure.

“Not by law…not officially, but by default. Because it is open to the public, it’s safe, it’s air-conditioned,” Hall said. “You can use the computer, check out a book.”

Although Macon has various services for people affected by homelessness, some unhoused people do not want help.

Arthur Panish, a homeless man who walked many of Macon’s corridors like Spring Street was struck and killed by a car in 2018.  

“Where our system has some weaknesses in the collective, I’m not saying any one provider, I just mean like in the collective is street outreach for unsheltered and chronic homeless, and in the kind of services that can help a man that I came to know after he died,” Hall said of Panish.

One thing all of the organizations have in common is the need for volunteers and continued financial support.

“One of our number one needs here at Daybreak is volunteers. Volunteers come in, and they run our shower tape or our laundry, our cafe,” she said.

The help from the Macon community is important in the support and operation of DayBreak. It is described as the “glue that holds it all together,” Sullivan said.

We have volunteer opportunities where people can come and help us do all kinds of things here at the center and also get to experience helping people and family,” Bender said of Brookdale.

Brookdale’s’ web page includes how people can help them and an Amazon wishlist for what is needed at the center.



Brookdale Resource Center


3600 Brookdale Avenue Macon, GA 31204

90-day transitional Homeless Shelter serving men, women, and families with children

Apply in person Monday-Friday 9 am-4 pm 

Translation upon request.

Centenary Community Ministries, Inc.


1235 Ash St. Macon, GA 31201

Transitional housing for men experiencing homelessness, and men in recovery from an addiction.

Macon-Bibb EOC Service Center for Homeless & others


150 Sessions Dr. Macon, GA 31201

Rapid Rehousing Program

Bring ID, Social Security cards, proof of income, homeless certification letter, and related documents.



Fuller Center Macon 


Low-income permanent housing. 

Translation can be arranged 

Georgia Dream

1-800-747-2898 or 404-679-4840. 

First-time Home Buyer’s assistance through GreenPath


Translation can be arranged.

Greater Blessing 


Critical home repairs

Translation can be arranged.

Habitat for Humanity


[email protected]

690 Holt Avenue Macon, GA 31204

Macon Housing Authority


2015 Felton Ave. Macon, GA 31201

Monday-Thursday 8 am-5 pm, Friday 8 am-12 pm

Apply in person

Public housing and Section 8 home listings though there are waiting lists

Middle GA Community Action Agency



Daily needs, case management, housing & energy assistance, Head Start

Rebuilding Macon 


3864 Lake St. Macon, GA 31204.


Housing repairs for elderly, low-income, or disabled homeowners

River Edge Behavioral Health


Permanent Supportive Housing for those experiencing homelessness, and families and individuals with disabilities

Translators via phone app or staff person.