THE LIGHT: September 2018

Chris at Atlanta Mission

Rediscovering Joy

Chris was just a normal guy whose life fell apart. He went from living in a nice home to under a bridge, miserable and alone. This is his story…

There was a time when my life was happy. I enjoyed my work, I was married to the girl I grew up across the street from, and we lived in a nice home here in Atlanta. Everything was just right…

Only, it didn’t last. One year into our marriage, I broke my back in a motorcycle accident. I spent four months in a hospital bed. Worse, the injury killed my career and made full-time employment impossible.

I did my best with odd jobs and temp work to contribute to the family, but the truth is, I became dependent on my wife’s income. That was fine until, after 20 years of marriage, she said she wanted a divorce.

Losing her was devastating. Without my wife or my health, I felt broken. I moved in with my parents to figure things out. They were elderly and in need of full-time care, so I stayed longer than I planned to help them. After they both had passed, my finances really tanked. Without consistent income, I struggled badly, moving from place to place until I wound up in a dirt-cheap apartment off Buford Highway. When my money ran out, I had nowhere else to go but the streets.

For five months, I lived under I-85 on Chamblee Tucker Road, and it was as awful as it sounds. My phone, ID, and everything else was stolen. I’d go days without eating. Eventually, I found certain restaurants that throw away food most nights, but…all you really do is try to survive another day.

The holidays were especially painful. Most people don’t want anything to do with you when you’re homeless. They think you’ve done something wrong, and you just miss everything you’ve lost.

But when a friend brought me to Atlanta Mission, that was the end of hunger and the beginning of new hope.

Chris Riding a BicycleI only wish I’d learned about this place sooner. Receiving food and a comfortable bed…that’s more help than you could imagine. I will never take any meal for granted again, especially not Thanksgiving.

Still, food is only the beginning. I went through the Choose Help and Make Progress programs. Counseling and classes helped me overcome depression and grief.

It hasn’t been easy, but for the first time in decades, I have joy again. I have literally felt God lifting me up. This Thanksgiving, I’m thanking Him for rescuing me at Atlanta Mission.



Man Eating at The Shepherd's InnYou Have Given Us a Reason to be Thankful

Atlanta Mission guests share how your generous support is transforming their lives…

Carlos at Atlanta Mission“Before I came to Atlanta Mission, I was very depressed. Atlanta Mission gave me new hope. They’re always here for me, checking up on me, making me feel like family. That love means even more at the holidays.”


Adonis at Atlanta Mission“It feels good knowing how much they care. This is such a warm place — especially at Thanksgiving. It feels like home now.”


Elliot at Atlanta Mission“Atlanta Mission is helping me get my life together. I work in the kitchen, and I love the chance to give back to others.”



Give Your Homeless Neighbors a Thanksgiving to Remember

ON THANKSGIVING DAY we’ll serve more than 1,000 turkey dinners. Take a look at the ingredients that make such a grand celebration possible:

  • 150 turkeys
  • 2,000 rolls
  • 100 lbs. of butter
  • 725 lbs. of potatoes
  • 90 gallons of gravy
  • 36 gallons of cranberry sauce
  • 80 gallons of macaroni
  • 150 lbs. of cheddar cheese
  • 180 lbs. of green beans
  • 20 lbs. of onions
  • 50 lbs. of celery
  • 80 pumpkin pies
  • 80 apple pies
  • 90 lbs. of chicken stock
  • 1,200 eggs
  • 150 lbs. of flour
  • 120 gallons of milk

Thank you for helping our homeless neighbors experience a celebration that fills their hearts with gratitude.



Thanksgiving at Atlanta Mission

Thanksgiving is a true celebration at Atlanta Mission. We want our guests to feel the joy of the season, experience the love of God, and see how much the community cares about them. Preparing for the event is no small task — it begins months in advance…

Men Eating at The Shepherd's Inn100,000 Meals
We must collect enough food to serve over 100,000 meals during the Thanksgiving season, including 1,800 on the holiday itself.

250+ Team Members
Atlanta Mission staff, volunteers, and local organizations all work together to prepare and serve the meals.


Man Laughing at Atlanta MissionThousands Served
During the Thanksgiving season, we’ll care for more than 1,000 men, women, and children every single day. For many of them, a decent meal is that crucial first step on their healing journey.


Giving our homeless neighbors new hope and a reason to be grateful.



Your Compassion Inspires Thanksgiving

“I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse…”

This passage from Matthew 15:32 reveals the caring heart of Jesus. He not only taught people deep truths and healed their sicknesses. He also had a keen awareness of the most basic need — food.

So it is at Atlanta Mission. Our programs are comprehensive in nature, meeting our guests’ long-term physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. But this healing journey all begins with a meal. Without food, a person suffering from hunger
on the streets would never be drawn in.

It costs just $2.67 to provide one Thanksgiving meal at Atlanta Mission. Any amount you choose to give makes an impact, but please don’t delay. The intense demands of this season mean we must have resources in place soon.

Your generous donation will not only provide urgently needed meals for our homeless neighbors. You will also ensure they receive shelter, warm clothes, and life-transformation. And you will inspire true Thanksgiving in many broken hearts.

Click here to give Thanksgiving meals



From Soul-Crushing Loneliness to Joyful Fellowship

Dear Friend,

Most of us will celebrate with loved ones on Thanksgiving. But just imagine for a moment if you were on your own for the holiday — and every other day for that matter. No friends, no family anywhere. Because that’s the painful reality of numerous people who come through our doors.

Being all alone like that is soul-crushing. Many of our guests once believed there was not a single person on earth who cared whether they lived or died.

Thanks to your prayers and support, a simple Thanksgiving meal at Atlanta Mission has often been the
first sign they were wrong. Here, they learn their lives do matter — and the community does care. Every subsequent meal served with a smile and a kind word is further proof of how loved they are.

When you provide meals and other support, you help rescue men, women, and children from hunger and the streets. You give them sweet fellowship with new friends. And you ensure they receive hope and life transformation through the power of Christ.

You might never meet our guests, but because of you, their lives will never be the same. May that beautiful truth bring an added measure of joy to your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Jim Reese
President & CEO

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We’d be honored to have you share in the joys, struggles and transformations of Atlanta’s most vulnerable souls.

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