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Airport Seeks OK for Contract to Move Homeless from Terminal

The world's busiest airport is seeking approval for a contract to relocate homeless people who camp overnight in its domestic terminal.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is seeking Atlanta City Council approval for the $189,000, one-year contract with HOPE Atlanta, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported .

HOPE Atlanta has had an office in the airport's domestic terminal for decades and used to focus on helping stranded travelers. It now focuses on helping "unsheltered people" get back on their feet, HOPE Atlanta spokeswoman Beth Haynes said.

The organization has eight employees working at the airport's domestic terminal, and transports people to the city's Gateway Center shelter.

Atlanta's airport has seen a marked increase in homeless people taking refuge in the terminal, especially during cold weather, according to Susan Garrett, the interim chief procurement officer of Atlanta.

People arriving at the airport via commuter trains "become stranded at the airport after the last train departs the station," and end up cut off from resources and transportation to shelters, Garrett wrote in a memo authorizing the special expenditure.

The contract will expand the HOPE Atlanta office's hours and formalize its work at the airport, officials said.