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Stories of sacrifice, resilience, and HOPE in the face of hardship


There’s a saying that goes, “Home is where Mom is.” No one understands that more than children who have experienced homelessness and housing insecurity. At the Atlanta Women’s Community Kitchen (WCK)*, motherly love is in full force. What began as a place for women to receive a hot meal has become a fully-fledged support system — something that every mom needs, but especially those who struggle and sacrifice to provide necessities for their families.

Laverne and Melissa, both moms and longtime WCK guests, are the embodiment of motherly love…

Ending homelessness, one homecoming story at a time

Program Manager Al Harrison and client Melissa

What if the only thing standing between you and a place to call home was the cost of a bus ticket? For many of the people who come to HOPE Atlanta for help, it isn’t just a bus ticket. It’s their ticket out of homelessness.

They want to get back to where they know they’ll be safe and welcome — in their home communities or with loved ones. They simply lack the means to get there. …

Celebrating the unsung heroes among us during National Volunteer Month

At 458 Ponce de Leon Avenue sits an unassuming brick building on the campus of Grace United Methodist Church. Inside, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, humble heroes gather.

This is the home of Downtown Atlanta’s Women’s Community Kitchen, a steadfast source of hot meals for women and children in need. Founded in 1984 as a program of Action Ministries (and now part of HOPE Atlanta), the Community Kitchen not only provides some 20,000 meals per year. It’s evolved into a welcoming community for women to feel supported amid challenges…

Photo credit: Bennett Calvin

A veteran with more than ten years of service never deserves to live in a bus station. Yet, that is where U.S. Army veteran Graham found himself just over a year ago, right before the start of COVID.

After he completed his service in 2012, Graham had looked forward to building a good life for his family. He enrolled in college and held down jobs, including helping other veterans at the VA hospital. But, like many veterans, he faced unique setbacks.

Under the surface, Graham was struggling with PTSD and chronic pain that took a toll and eventually made it…

April is National Volunteer Month, and it’s the perfect time to get involved!

Some days, our society’s challenges and shortcomings can feel impossibly overwhelming. It’s easy to feel helpless when you watch the news or become numb to the statistics around COVID-19, poverty, homelessness, hunger, and more.

But if you are in any position to serve, there’s always something you can do to help a struggling neighbor. As Mother Theresa once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” Here are some of the ways you can channel your compassion and get involved now.

Sign up to pack food boxes.

HOPE Atlanta…

There is an unfortunate misconception that homelessness is a personal failing, perhaps the result of laziness or other shortcomings. But most people experiencing homelessness have fallen on hard times due to circumstances beyond their control.

HOPE Atlanta caseworker Antoinette Fields hears these stories constantly. “Life happens to us,” she said. “If you lose a job, you have an illness, or for some reason you have to vacate your house, you can become homeless. Or, you could fall back on your rent.”

This was the unfortunate case for Jason, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, his wife Liz, and their son…

Our community needs a comprehensive solution to homelessness and hunger. Here’s how we’re making that happen.

HOPE Atlanta CEO Jeff Smythe joins community volunteers at the Women’s Community Kitchen

In 2021, Atlanta’s economy (and that of many other metropolitan areas nationwide) can best be described as “a tale of two cities.” For some, a booming real estate market and stabilizing economy signal prosperous days ahead. But many others will be left in 2020’s dust and face an uphill battle to achieve basic economic stability.

Although a return to “normalcy” seems on the horizon, and we all long to put the pandemic behind us, we must continue to advocate for marginalized people and communities…

Black stories are HOPE Atlanta’s story. During Black History Month and beyond, let’s listen.

HOPE Atlanta Outreach Airport Team

Black History Month has taken on a new significance in the national dialogue, while trends in homelessness, hunger, and racial inequality continue to persist.

But change is in the air. We’re forever thankful to our African American leadership, staff, clients, and partners who aren’t just telling Black history but living it. Here are a few people and groups to watch, both within our organization and around Metro Atlanta.

1. HOPE Atlanta Board Member Alexis Davis Smith is making waves and making room for others

Founder, President…

When examining homelessness and poverty issues, statistics can feel numbing. In Part III of our interview series with Nigel Dawson, we’re looking at clients’ stories instead.

Veterans like Vincent (a former HOPE Atlanta client) often suffer from chronic illness or injuries that make everyday life more challenging.

As the adage goes, you shouldn’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. For every person you see who is experiencing homelessness, there’s a story- unique challenges and obstacles, often products of the hand they were dealt or systemic inequities.

But, how many of us have ever stopped to listen? As eye-opening as homelessness and poverty statistics are, our neighbors’ stories often have an even larger impact. …

A day in the life of a HOPE Atlanta caseworker

HOPE Atlanta client Bradley W. finally has a safe place to call home after experiencing chronic homelessness

How can someone eat, sleep, find a job, or heal if they’re squarely focused on survival? Safe, stable housing is tantamount to a person’s ability to thrive. Yet, for many, housing is out of reach. In this series, we’re talking to someone who’s looking to change that here in Georgia: Nigel Dawson, a HOPE Atlanta caseworker and long-time human rights advocate on the front lines in the fight to end homelessness.

In part two of our three-part series, we’re exploring HOPE Atlanta’s housing-first approach to relieve homelessness, how Dawson serves…

HOPE Atlanta

Our vision is to end hunger and homelessness for every Georgian.

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