A homeless man carries lumber to the encampment under the North Avenue Bridge, where they sleep on the ground or on old mattresses and burn wood to keep warm when the temperature drops below freezing. Many of the people who live under the bridge have jobs but don’t earn enough to put a proper roof over their heads. With the economic downturn and overflowing homeless shelters, the number of people living in tents, cars and under bridges in Athens has tripled since 2006, according to the Athens-Clarke Human and Economic Development Department.
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