Community steps in to help homeless woman with four cats

The city of Atlanta announced in Nov. 2020 they would use millions from Cares Act funding to house the homeless. But that was paused before Mama G. could get off the street.
Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 4:58 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -Georgette Westerfield can’t believe this is happening. From homelessness to a home of her own, a community stepped in to help the woman they call Mama G.

“When I woke up that first day I’m like where am I? oh yeah I’m home,” Mama G said.

The recovering meth addict, nearly 6 years clean, had been homeless since January. To stay warm, she had a coat, a hat and four well cared for cats living in a stroller. “That’s all I have in this life that means anything to me, are these animals,” Mama G explained.

She also has support from four caring volunteers, two self declared punk rockers, a realtor and a scientist. Using Facebook, Instagram and a Go Fund Me that raised enough money to buy necessities and pay for a brief stay at the Airport Motel 6.

Mama G received enough in disability to care for the cats, but not enough for housing, so when a local non-profit approved a free apartment with a one year lease, her world changed. “I just couldn’t stop crying. Yay! I’m get off the streets me and my cats are going to have a good home,” she told CBS46 News.

The City of Atlanta announced an initiative in November 2020 to house 800 homeless people using $18 million dollars from the Cares Act and $5 million from the private sector. The city kicked in an additional $1.2 million for transitional housing at a Ramada by the old Turner Field.

Partners for Home, the non profit created by the city would secure contracts with landlords, while 10 local non profits made referrals, including Mama G. But two months after Mama G got good news, then came the bad news, the program had been paused. “My world fell out from underneath me, you know,” Mama G said.

Cathryn Marchman is the executive director at Partners for Home. She says the program has already placed 535 people, with another 6 to 8 weeks to go. “There have been a ton of moving parts in this initiative. We’ve never taken on something of this magnitude before,” Marchman said.

When CBS46′s Better Call Harry started calling around, things fell into place for Mama G. Thanks to a permanent voucher from the non profit Step Up Atlanta and Partner’s for Home.

Now, Mama G has a roof over her head and her four cats even have their own room.

“It’s all I ever wanted, so many people went to bat for me when no one else wood...I feel gratitude,” Mama G explained. “I’ve been through a lot my whole life everybody that’s come into my life has let me down, and these volunteers have been there when I needed them, I can never thank them enough.”

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