HomeAid Atlanta is one of 19 affiliates of HomeAid and the designated charity of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. Since 2001, HomeAid Atlanta has been working to achieve its mission thanks to Metro Atlanta’s homebuilding industry and the general community.
On June 5, HomeAid Atlanta and Lennar cut the ribbon at Gwinnett Housing Corporation’s newly renovated Homeowner Resource Center, which will provide educational resources for families of low to moderate-income seeking homeownership in Gwinnett County, one of Georgia’s fastest-growing, most diverse counties. Prior to renovations, the Homeowner Resource Center was a dilapidated eyesore. Thanks to HomeAid Atlanta and Builder Captain Adam Paterson, Lennar Area Construction Manager, over $60,000 in labor and materials were donated to transform the vacant house.
HomeAid Atlanta continues to explore ways that builders, municipalities and nonprofits can collaborate for more affordable housing throughout Metro Atlanta. Once considered one of the most affordable metro areas, Atlanta and its metro area were officially deemed unaffordable for the average buyer according to the Federal Reserve’s 2022 index.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens has made affordable housing a priority. His goal of building and preserving 20,000 affordable housing units in Atlanta by 2030 is a work in progress. Dickens hopes to invest nearly $300 million, via a combination of foundation and city funds, to provide affordable housing and related resources.
Dickens’ innovative Faith-Based Development Initiative is a pipeline of community-based organizations that can leverage existing development incentives and other resources to spur the creation of at least 2,000 units of affordable housing over the next eight years, as part of the 20,000-unit goal. At one of the meetings of the Faith-Based Development Initiative, HomeAid Atlanta Executive Director Mandy Crater and HomeAid Atlanta Board President Tony Albachiara of Ashton Woods presented HomeAid’s history and potential to be involved in the effort in partnership with faith-based organizations that own underutilized land and facilities in the city. Since then, HomeAid Atlanta brought several builders on a tour of some of these properties and is pursuing the next steps.
In other construction news, HomeAid Atlanta broke ground on two new homes at Breakthru House in Decatur on April 28. For 52 years, Breakthru House has served low-income women and their children struggling with addiction by providing a long-term residential program to empower women to achieve recovery. The construction of the two new homes, led by Builder Captain Ronnie Cline of Taylor Morrison, will grow Breakthru House’s capacity from 28 women in recovery to 48. This expansion will establish Breakthru House as the largest gender-specific treatment facility in the region.
HomeAid Atlanta has two additional construction projects in progress in the summer of 2023, with four more in the planning phase.
In addition to construction projects, HomeAid Atlanta’s community engagement efforts meet the critical needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. On May 10, HomeAid Atlanta wrapped up its 22nd Annual Essentials Drive. Throughout April, the metro Atlanta community donated diapers, baby wipes and funds to help families in need. On May 11, over 30 volunteers sorted, counted and packed thousands of donations for the May 12 delivery to 27 local nonprofits providing housing and services for families in need.
The donations made a major impact at Essentials Drive recipient Phoenix Pass, which serves the needs of women and their children experiencing temporary homelessness. Phoenix Pass Executive Director Auvronette Guilbeaux said “Purchasing baby products can be a hardship between paydays for our moms. One mom said that a burden had been lifted because she didn’t have to choose between diapers and other baby products for her daughters. Another mom felt like it was truly a Mother’s Day gift because without having to buy diapers, she could save a little more money for the future.”
HomeAid Care Days also help meet the needs of metro Atlanta’s homeless service providers. These volunteer workdays provide facility upgrades and repairs free of charge. HomeAid Atlanta has completed six Care Days to date, with several more planned for the remainder of 2023.
To learn more about HomeAid Atlanta’s work to build a future without homelessness, please visit www.homeaidatlanta.org.
Cicely Stevens is the manager and developer of Marketing for HomeAid Atlanta, managing fundraising campaigns and events, as well as marketing and PR.