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 need is, Tara is part of a team that helps each individual work through a personalized plan towards self-sufficiency and transformation.
As Tara tells the stories of some of the women she has had the opportunity to work with, you can tell this is her true calling. The joys that she experiences with these ladies is contagious. She recounts a story of moving one woman into her first apartment. This woman had been sleeping outside for 6 months and once she chose help, Tara was able to get her the services that she needed to end her homelessness. This is just one of the many different and beautiful stories of transformation that Tara has witnessed.
“Without these services at Atlanta Mission, there would be a huge gap in the city. Things here work differently than other shelters in Atlanta,” she explains, “there is no set timeline here and individuals have a customized plan.”
One of the most important things she says is that she really believes there are women here that have nowhere else they could be. There is no one path to a life of addiction and homelessness, and therefore no one-size-fits-all solution. But she shares, “ It’s been amazing to break through to someone who has been on the streets for years and to help figure out how they can really get back on their feet.
For Tara, Atlanta Mission is where she gets to be a part of transformation.