What’s It Like Being Homeless in Summer?

After winter, we look forward to warmer weather, but a Georgia summer can be stifling—hot, humid, and exhausting. We may enjoy some outdoor recreation, but we look forward to going back to our air-conditioned cars and homes, sipping an icy beverage and perhaps taking a cool shower after just a few hours outside. But what if you were experiencing homelessness and had no way out of the heat? What if you had to spend your days and nights outdoors without…

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Liz’s Story of Transformation

Liz and her son at Atlanta Mission

by Liz Liz was homeless, but poverty wasn’t her biggest problem. Atlanta Mission helped her deal with the root causes of her nightmare. Before I came to Atlanta Mission, I didn’t know how badly I needed this place. Now I thank God every day for bringing me here. I only came to Atlanta Mission because the home I was living in burned down. I needed a safe place for me and my son, and time to figure things out. When…

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Relationships are Key in Ending Homelessness

Two Men who met and became friends at Atlanta Mission

by Leize Marie Davis Over the past few years, we have been working to transform the way we serve those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta. In all the conversations, meetings, and designs, there is a central theme: relationships. Throughout the entire Transformation Model, we are striving to build better relationships with the men, women, and children seeking help. These relationships have intentional purpose in all of our services. Through relationships we are able to: Understand true needs, not just what the…

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Walking Alongside – A Mutual Support

Mason jar with encouraging notes inside

by Becca Berlin Look what another human being made for me, just out of the blue!   Sometimes I can’t believe I get paid to support other women. I mean, there’s a lot of other stuff to get done in the day to day. But it does all boil down to that: just supporting people. Walking alongside them. The especially incredible part is that when you walk with people through a season, even if the season is about them and…

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No One-Size-Fits-All Solution

Women gathered outside at Atlanta Mission

By Rachel Reynolds Sitting across from Tara in her office at Atlanta Mission you come to really understand what transformation looks like in practical ways. Tara is a social worker at Atlanta Mission and has been for 3 years. At this moment Tara is working with 34 ladies. Tara knows each of these women by name and every day she is helping them move towards self-sufficiency. This includes vocational assistance, health needs, connecting to legal help, housing, etc. Whatever their…

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A Safe Place to Call Home

Woman and Child moving belongings into new housing

by Leize Marie Davis At Atlanta Mission, a major focus of ending someone’s homelessness is obtaining secure housing. A client who is ready to transition out of our facility and into the “real world” will: Understand how to manage finances to remain in housing. Understand life skills necessary to maintain stable living. Obtain safe, affordable, and permanent housing, spending less than 50% of income. Permanent housing has no set length of stay and there is a formal lease or informal…

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Work Provides Dignity and Hope

job-training-man-chainsaw

By Leize Marie Davis One of our key focuses in ending homelessness is empowering our clients to retain employment. Many of our clients do not have trouble getting a job, but most do not keep jobs for very long. A significant number of our women report being fired from a job due to tardiness or conflict in the workplace. Our vocational outcomes are that clients would: Obtain skills and knowledge necessary to maintain a job Obtain skills and tools necessary…

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Robert’s Story of Transformation

For two decades, Robert struggled to understand why God allowed him to suffer. When he finally discovered the answer at Atlanta Mission, it changed everything. When I was 2, my father was killed by lightning. After that, my family struggled financially and we fell into severe poverty. My mother had to work long hours to make ends meet. That meant she had to leave me with people she trusted to look after me. Instead, one of them abused me. Repeatedly.…

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Transformation Part 3: A Legacy

Charlie, a new graduate of Atlanta Mission, struck out on his own to rebuild his life after addiction. But despite the warning from Josh, his counselor, to get a completely fresh start, he went back to his old job. It didn’t take Charlie long to realize that Josh was right after all. The restaurant job he had worked before involved long, stressful hours, and it put him right back where he’d been when he entered The Shepherd’s Inn. “It created the…

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Transformation Part 2: The Meeting

When Josh, a new counselor, and Charlie, a new resident, met at Atlanta Mission, each was seeking spiritual healing in his own way. Josh was looking to make a real difference in a career he was passionate about, mental health counseling, and felt he had absolutely found a home at Atlanta Mission. Charlie had a different mindset, however. He arrived at The Shepherd’s Inn from North Georgia looking for a change, hoping to quit using drugs during his stay, and then leave…

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Transformation Part 1: The Beginning

In this three-part series, we’ll explore the power of transformation through building strong relationships at Atlanta Mission. This is a story of two men with widely different backgrounds and life circumstances who ended up transforming one another’s lives. Let’s start with how they both found their way to Atlanta Mission.   Josh Josh was drawn to counseling at an early age. As a high school student, his exposure to psychology classes, his desire to help others, and his mother’s role…

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Rooted in Community

by Leize Marie Davis Atlanta Mission’s research shows that an overwhelming majority of the men and women that we serve have no healthy relationships. This means that there is no one in their corner to celebrate successes or support them in crisis. The first objective of our Transformation Model to End Homelessness is to change this. A client who is Rooted in Community: Has reliable and healthy relationships with at least one person or organization. The relationships are founded in…

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Atlanta Mission’s Faithful Friend Donors

Thanks to the generosity of a longtime Atlanta Mission donor, we have the special opportunity for your first monthly gift to be tripled, which means if you sign up to be a monthly donor, or Faithful Friend as we call this loyal group of donors, your gift will triple in impact. One meal will become three, one hot shower will become three hot showers, one night of shelter and safety will in fact provide three. Becoming a Faithful Friend helps…

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Homeless Children and Delayed Speech

It’s a documented fact that homeless children are at great risk for delayed speech. According to a study cited by the National Institutes of Health, 75 percent of homeless children ages 3 and 4 had language development problems. The lack of stability in their living situation and the trauma experienced by homeless women result in these mothers not speaking to their children during their important developmental years as much as women in less stressful circumstances do.  The result is reduced vocabulary,…

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Keith’s Story of Transformation

by Keith After a lifetime of guilt, shame, and drug abuse, Keith needed to change. He needed forgiveness. I’ve spent most of my life paralyzed by guilt and shame. I just could never forgive myself. How could anyone else? One day, when I was growing up, my brother and I set a couple of fires. There’s no excuse for what we did. But shortly afterward, child services intervened. Me and my 13 siblings were taken from our home and split…

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The 2017 Atlanta Mission 5K Race Recap

On the morning of February 18, 2017, Atlanta Mission residents, community members, and volunteers turned out in force for the annual 5K Race to End Homelessness. It was a timely event—just a week earlier, the overnight temperature had dipped below freezing, so sleeping outdoors was especially dangerous. For those people with nowhere to sleep but the streets, the race offered hope: For each registration, Atlanta Mission provided someone a night of shelter, including a warm bed, a hot shower, a…

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When the Vision Catches Fire

Community Cornhole

In my hometown, the students that attend local high schools have an annual tradition of throwing toilet paper in the trees of each other’s front yards for a full-week of all out war. The kids love it. The parents hate it. For anybody who has been the victim of this front yard assault, you know how painstakingly annoying cleaning up this mess can be. I had a friend who decided that there might be a quicker way to clean up…

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