THE LIGHT: August 2018

Melita and her family at My Sister's House

 Melita’s Miracle A young mother and her three daughters were on the verge of homelessness in Atlanta. How would they survive? Last year, Melita was working two jobs. She wasn’t wealthy, but she got by — providing well enough for her three daughters. But when her hours at one job were unexpectedly cut, she struggled to cover her car payments. And eventually, the vehicle was repossessed. Then she could no longer get to her second job. “Everything spiraled out of…

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Dewan’s Story of Transformation

Dewan's story of transformation

Dewan struggled for years to break what he calls “a vicious cycle” of alcoholism, broken relationships, and unemployment. But when he finally surrendered to the nagging in his heart that he needed a change, Dewan headed to Atlanta Mission. It was here that Dewan met his counselor. When they first met, she asked Dewan many questions to determine if he really wanted to change his life. Something clicked in Dewan and he began opening up to her. He decided to…

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The Impact of Homelessness on Children

impact of homelessness

When we think of homelessness, we often think of men and women on the streets, many times with a stereotype in mind. The thought of a family, even children, experiencing homelessness does not often come to mind. But it’s very common – more common than you might think. Around 1,300 of those experiencing homelessness in Atlanta every night are families. And experience tells us if these families don’t receive help, the children are impacted greatly for the rest of their…

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Marilyn’s Story of Transformation

marilyn's story of transformation

As she stood outside the door of the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children, Marilyn remembered volunteering there years prior. She remembered the smiles on the women’s faces as she served them a meal or gave them clothes. Today, she was there for a completely different reason—because she and her daughter, Sarah, needed a place to sleep and a new start. “I had a rich, full life,” says Marilyn. “I never thought I would end up at a homeless…

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Social Factors and Ending Homelessness Around the World

outside of atlanta day shelter ending homelessness around the world

In the effort of ending homelessness around the world, shelters are only the tip of the iceberg. Social factors such as addiction, family tragedy, job loss, domestic violence, mental illness, and more play a heavy part in the cause of homelessness. The common denominator is a major crack in their life foundation. Many people focus solely on structural factors, like a lack of low-cost housing. Why are social factors so important? Often, when those affected by homelessness begin to pursue…

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How to Help Kids in Need Heading Back to School

kid in desk goes to back school

It’s that time of year. The end of July means many children are heading back to school in Atlanta. As most kids get excited to be reunited with friends and meet their new teachers, some children are part of the 7,000 facing homelessness in Atlanta and do not have the resources to start school. Without proper resources, a majority of these students will not be able to succeed in their class the way they should. At the beginning of the…

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5 Ways You Can Help Those Experiencing Homelessness in the Summer Heat

woman facing homelessness in the summer heat

The blacktop on Atlanta’s summer streets can reach 175 degrees. Now imagine that blacktop is your home. For someone living on the streets of Atlanta this summer, heat strokes, exhaustion, dehydration, violence, and serious illness are just some of the threats you face. It isn’t easy. There are many ways you can help those experiencing homelessness in the summer heat. Here are 5 things you can keep in your car this summer as you come across those experiencing homelessness: Water…

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Ikea’s Story of Transformation

Ikea at Atlanta Mission's Women's and Children's Shelter, My Sister's House

“I came to know God through hardship. And my faith grew in suffering.” That’s how Ikea describes her spiritual journey, and there’s no doubt that God has carried her through many trials. “My mom and brother and I fled domestic violence in Florida, but life didn’t get much better in Georgia,” she explained. “We had a lot of issues. My mom was verbally abusive and our relationship was toxic.” Such a tumultuous childhood carried over into adulthood. Ikea struggled to…

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“Here, I Have Time to Breathe”

Sarah and Emma Reading

Sarah was finally at a good place in her life. She’d won a custody of her daughter after being separated for almost two years. The hard part was supposed to be over. She was only supposed to be focused on being a good mom and provider. Then, her car broke down. Sarah had already spent her savings in the fight to have her daughter, so, she couldn’t pay for the repairs. Not having transportation meant that she had to quit…

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Hopeless to Hopeful

Jacqueline

Jacqueline was exhausted when she arrived at Atlanta Mission. For five years she experienced homelessness, bouncing from motels to staying with friends, sometimes sleeping in the airport or in her car. She worked at a local university for 14 years, she was a fixture there, she thought she had earned her job security. Then her department was eliminated. She was sure she could get another job, she could prove that she was hardworking and committed. She lived off her retirement…

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Music Breaks Down Walls at Atlanta Mission’s Men’s Shelter

Men Practicing at the Atlanta Mission Men's Shelter Guitar Class

It takes a great deal of coordination and work for Atlanta Mission to function effectively, including staff who love our clients, volunteers to take care of them by cooking meals and cleaning the facilities, and donors who make each of these things possible. This past year we invited donors who have been on campus to take a tour of our facilities and really see what they are supporting. One of the men who decided to do this is Tom McGuire.…

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Atlanta Mission – The Basics of Ending Homelessness

Atlanta Mission, Ending Homelessness

Atlanta is prospering in many ways. Job are arriving. Neighborhoods are revitalizing. Culture is thriving. Yet, poverty is also on the rise with more men, women, and children sleeping on our streets each night. The bonds of poverty are merciless, binding families with financial strain, emotional pain, and deep loneliness. In spite of the prosperity here, there are still many people facing homelessness, with no friends or family to turn to. These are our neighbors- hungry, hurting, and hopeless- struggling…

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Barnell’s Story of Transformation

Barnell at Atlanta Mission

The robber pointed a gun at me and said, “Your car or your life.” Easy choice, right? At the time, I thought I was just saving my own skin. I didn’t realize God would use this crime to give me a different choice — one that saved my soul. It happened like this: After the man stole my car, my life fell apart. I lost my job because I couldn’t get to work. I had no income, and pretty soon…

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The Power of Friendship

Brittany and Amber at Atlanta Mission

Those experiencing homelessness come to us first for emergency services. It is through offering these services that we can begin to build the transformative relationships that lead our clients to Christ and to choose help. 365 days a year, our emergency shelters are open to provide relief from the elements, warm food, and a safe environment to stay. Many of our clients come to us in relational poverty, meaning they have no family or friends to turn to for help.…

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Rae’s Story of Transformation

Rae found Hope at Atlanta Mission

For 14 years, Rae knew darkness well. Suffering with severe brain trauma, an incurable disease, depression, poverty, and homelessness, there was little light in her world. But it wasn’t always that way. Growing up in New York City, she was raised in a Christian home and enjoyed a comfortable life. She attended St. John’s University, earned a degree in psychology, and worked for 10 years at a local hospital. But in 2001, disaster struck. First, Rae suffered a tragic brain…

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Atlanta Mission CEO Helps to Heal Workplace Culture

Atlanta Mission is Best Christian Workplaces Certified as of 2017

Best Christian Workplace Institute recently featured Atlanta Mission’s CEO, Jim Reese, in their blog about creating a healthy work culture. The Great Recession of 2008 did a number on the Atlanta Mission’s finances. Painful right-sizing of staff followed. Jim said, “We had to stabilize our people and find a much more consistent way to treat, coach and develop our staff.” Last year, thanks to the loyalty, trust, communication, unity, shared-focus and excellence that now drive a thriving new service model,…

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The Braves Spread the Love on Valentine’s Day

The Atlanta Braves Mascot, Blooper, at Atlanta Mission

Valentine’s Day was extra special this year for the women and children we serve at The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children, the campus for our front door services. The Atlanta Braves organization stopped by to serve lunch, give out Braves swag, clean the entire building, and spend time with the women and children. “We are truly feeling the love of the community today,” one client said. One of the special guests they brought with them was Blooper, the Braves…

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Creating Community and Learning New Skills in Atlanta Mission’s Woodshop

The Potter’s House, Atlanta Mission’s men’s shelter in northeast Georgia, is buzzing with excitement on a seemingly-normal Wednesday afternoon. This is because the woodshop is open tonight. In this place, clients can make projects they are proud of and learn valuable skills. In years past, the woodshop at The Potter’s House was used as a place for clients to learn carpentry skills and create beautiful items to sell or give to the community. It closed because of a lack of…

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December Miracles

Christmas Prime Rib

December at Atlanta Mission is truly the most wonderful time of the year, the rooms are packed, the gifts are wrapped, and for many this is the first Christmas they have spent in a safe place. For our staff this is a time where their faith is stretched. For Ms. Pat, who runs all of Atlanta Mission food service, more individuals in our shelters means there are more mouths to feed. Christmas came around this year and there were no…

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