ATLANTA DAY SHELTER FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN INC

Rating: 4.76 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Homeless & Housing

Location: 655 Ethel St Nw Atlanta GA 30318 USA

Mission: The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children, Incorporated is an ecumenical ministry whose mission is to ease the burden of homelessness for women and children, and assist in establishing self-sufficiency by providing comprehensive education and supportive services in a manner that respects human dignity.
Results: We would like to share a few of our statistics from 2010: *We served 68,903 meals *Over 8,000 women and children visited the clothing closets *We distributed 2,200 one-day & 630 7-day MARTA passes *2,220 medical appointments were made with on-site nurses *On average 40-45 women utilized the job readiness services daily *We purchased 264 birth certificates and 109 legal IDs *We distributed 1,241 Christmas Gift Bags filled with new clothing, hygiene items, books, blankets, and toys. *Almost 150 women found new jobs *We distributed 203 household starter kits *Over 375 backpacks filled with school supplies were given to students to start school in the fall
Target demographics: We serve women and children who find themselves homeless and in need of our services and support.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In the past year we served 4,636 individual women and children.
Programs: Below is a brief summary of each of the programs offered to our guests: • The Critical Needs Program, the most utilized service we offer each day, provides the basic necessities that so many of us take for granted. Shelter from the elements, meals to ease hunger, clothing, hygiene items, shower and laundry facilities, phone and mail services, MARTA transportation pass distribution, and childcare items like diapers, formula, and baby food are just some of the needs filled by this program. In 2010 through our Critical Needs Program, we served 30,305 breakfasts and 38,598 lunches, distributed 206 household and food pantry bags, had over 8,000 visits by the women and children to our clothing closets, and distributed countless numbers of hygiene items. In addition, we purchased 2,200 round-trip MARTA passes and 630 7-day MARTA passes to assist our guests with safe travel to and from job interviews, doctor appointments, and access to other off-site services. • The Medical Care Program is on-site four days a week. Crucial to life on the streets is our guests’ health. There were 2,220 medical appointments with our on-site nurses in 2010. We are able to offer flu shots, immunizations, back to school check-ups, mammograms, podiatry services, and healthcare advice to our guests. On-site counseling for mental health issues is also offered at the Shelter. In addition, our services provide for the purchase of prescription medications for our guests. Nutrition and hygiene classes are also offered along with parenting classes. We partner with professional volunteers who conduct hearing, vision, dental exams, and other testing services for our guests. • The Job Readiness Program includes assistance with resume writing, interview training, customer service skills, and self-esteem building workshops. The Atlanta Day Shelter offers assistance and stipends for women to go back to school or complete the GED certification courses. In the fall of 2010, 19 women entered college with an education stipend from the Atlanta Day Shelter. In addition, the Shelter assists guests in the procurement of legal documents needed for employment or schooling. Often our guests might secure an interview, but find that they lack the appropriate identification needed to secure the position. Each birth certificate we purchase in the state of Georgia costs $15 (out of state birth certificates range from $20-$35); while a legal identification is $5. In 2010, the Atlanta Day Shelter purchased 153 state of Georgia birth certificates, 111 out-of-state birth certificates, and 109 legal identifications. The Job Readiness Program also assists guests with the fees associated with transferring their out-of-state nursing licenses to the state of Georgia so that they may pursue a position in the field of nursing in Georgia. On average, our job counselors meet with 45-55 women on a daily basis. Along with this program, the Computer Training Program offers on-site staffed training courses such as Introduction to Computers, Intermediate Word, and Excel. In 2010, 285 women graduated from the training courses with certificates of completion that helped make them more competitive in the job market. The Job Readiness Program has been a mainstay of our organization since 1990, offering 20 years of successful and effective job placement services and skills training to our guests. In the past year we placed our guests in 127 full-time positions and 18 part-time positions. • The Housing and Social Services Program provides our guests aid in finding and maintaining housing. Our trained Social Service Counselors meet with women to find emergency nighttime housing placement when they first arrive at the Shelter. Our counselors also assist with finding support for guests suffering from addictions or physical disabilities. In order to support the women as they find housing, we offer $100 for use towards rent or utility bills and deliver housing starter kits to guests complete with some of the basic necessities needed in a new home. Guests are also directed towards additional resources such as furniture banks and thrift-store donation centers. • The Children and Youth Program provides a safe, clean, and nurturing environment for the children at the Atlanta Day Shelter. Last year, we served 1,265 children from newborn to 18 years old. Mothers rely on our childcare facility and youth programs when they are in computer training courses, job placement oriented classes or interviews, and our other programs. Our Youth Programs are designed to educate, enrich, and empower our younger guests. Among the educational opportunities we offer to the children are early education classes (ABC’s, numbers, colors, and shapes), story-time in our on-site library, food and nutrition classes, supervised computer classes for pre-teens, and hygiene instruction. Our staff and volunteers work to ensure that each child in our program realizes how important they are and what possibilities their lives hold. Our teen computer lab and middle school resource room provide quiet study locations and educational resources for school-age guests to do homework on weekends and continue their learning during the summer. In addition, weekly Parenting Classes are offered to help women deal with issues involving homelessness and raising a child.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

One of my favorite parts of volunteering at the Atlanta day shelter is spending time with the children. A small urban garden has been started in the back of the shelter which has been a great way to expose women and children to vegetables and healthful eating.

This shelter provides so many important and vital resources for their population and are a crucial stepping stone for women to move from the streets, shelters and unemployment to getting back on their feet. All of the time that I have spent there has been hugely rewarding and I have learned so much from the women and staff about resilience and hope.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

creating a green space at the shelter for gardening

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the garden bigger :)

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been the "go between" for many years for several organizations in Altanta that wish to donate clothing, toiletries, Christmas gifts, children's books and toys, household items, food and money to the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. So many folks and organizations want to help the Shelter and all they need is a little encouragement and clarity of the daily needs at the Shelter. Three examples follow... (1) The Rotary Club of Dunwoody donates large numbers of coats, jackets and sweaters every Fall. Some members put collection boxes in local dry cleaner establishments for this purpose. The Rotary Club also donates 100 Back to School book bags filled with school supplies every August. Individual members donate clothing, toys, toiletries and household items thoughout the year. (2) PEO Chapter R donates Christmas gifts for women and children and money every year. Individual members also donate clothing and household items throughout the year. (3) Kingswood UMC individuals donate large quantities of plastic bags and toiletries throughout the year. The Atlanta Day Shelter personnel are always gracious in accepting donations and helpful in the unloading process. I always feel blessed and peaceful after being at the Atlanta Day Shelter. It is a special place with a special mission.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I love seeing clients grow in their self esteem and ability to start a new life. One afternoon I saw a group of children who had just gotten off the school bus, form a circle and have a little prayer.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The Atlanta Day Shelter is doing a great job serving the homeless community. If they had more monetary donations and more volunteers, they could do even more!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The day shelter provide services to women who because of a variety of circumstances, need help getting their lives back on track. They provide basic needs like showers and laundry opportunities but also critical job training, childcare and education. During Christmas, the women and children receives new items from individuals and church groups who donate toys and clothing essentials. I have helped organize and package these donations for distribution. The employees of the shelter are very caring and organized. I love being part of this organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By seeing and hearing the results of how the Day Shelter has changed the course of women and children's lives. I have seen the gratefulness in their faces. These women and children experience the love of God through the countless acts of service they receive.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of anything

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Rating: 4 stars  

I began volunteering at the Atlanta Day Shelter when it was housed at First Methodist Church in downtown Atlanta and I worked downtown. On cold mornings, I would go by and open up the Shelter so the women and their children could come in out of the cold since the night shelters had put them out on the street. Offering a warm, safe place for these homeless women and their children was so rewarding and has been for all these 25+ years of the Shelter's existence. Now the Shelter is so much more than just a warm (or cool in the summer), safe place. We now provide training and help the women find employment, as well as take care of their health needs and feed them good, nutritious meals. The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Childdren is a wonderful place to volunteer and to serve.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the faces of the women and their children as they receive services provided by the Shelter staff and other volunteers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No immediate changes - just keep on finding ways to meet the needs of our guests at the Shelter.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am the community service co-chair for my university's local alumni association. Every month, our group volunteers with a different organization in the Atlanta area. Last December, our alums chose to spend our time and resources at the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. In addition to making personal donations, our volunteers spent the afternoon sorting clothing. The day was productive as we look forward to volunteering with the Shelter in the near future.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The look of hope on the Shelter's clients faces summed up the work of the Shelter in a tangible way.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The Shelter is very organized and our day went according to plan.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Atlanta Day Shelter provides many services, but amongst the greatest of these is creating space and energy for women to build relationships and feel empowered through community. We have been working with the director to start an Urban Garden (called the Herben Garden) and the excitement and flexibility toward our project has made it happen!

The women feel comfortable at the shelter and can take advantage of gardening because of this. Our main goal is to create a garden that the women feel they own and will be empowered by their abilities to grow, harvest, prepare and preserve food for their families as a self-sustaining skill. We also want to provide space for mental health enhancement as we garden and grow together as a community of women that care deeply about one another.

The staff is always interested and involved in what we are growing or activities we are putting on in the garden and keep our morale going on a weekly basis. They are working at the shelter because they care for the women and children they serve on a daily basis, which creates a great environment of support.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way I see women get support- either in healthcare through the visiting clinics (CAPN clinic), food during breakfast and lunch, support through conversations with staff and build community through their own interaction

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase their ability to educate women on job resources/interview preparation, which is simply a matter of funding

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women & Children is a wonderful refuge for many of Atlanta's most vulnerable homeless women and children. This Christian based organization provides many of the most basic needs that these families need until the women can get back on their feet. The ADSWC is truly a special place.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have been involved in this organization for many years. My mother was one of the original founders and I know the love and passion she had for this ministry. Our new Executive Director, Rev. Leslee Samuelson, is dedicated to moving the ADSWC forward to provide even better services for our clients.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Attempt to purchase additional land next door to the current property to allow our children to have an even bigger and better play area.

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Rating: 4 stars  

My sister in law is the person that introduced me to the Atlanta Day Shelter years ago. I've made a few financial contributions but had never volunteered. I e-mailed the shelter contact before long before Christmas about the Atlanta Day Shelter volunteer opportunities. My daughter and I were scheduled to work as a Santa helper. We help organize and stock the toy room and then filled bags of gifts based on the child's age and sex. I was amazed at how organized the process was and it was very fast paced. I don't have any idea how many children we selected gifts for that day. I think the shelter did an excellent job with the toy donations but I also saw how important the financial contributions are to fill the gaps if gifts needed for certain ages. Plus you have to keep in mind that the kids do not have a home to store batteries or keep large items. The staff at the shelter had everything organized, a wonderful attitude and wasted no time in putting me and my daughter to work. I want to make working at the shelter our new Christmas tradition.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My volunteer time was during the Christmas Season. The Atlanta Day Shelter was alive with the holiday spirit with Santa in the house and the smell of roasted turkey. I know the women and children that visited the shelter left with tummies full from a wonderful holiday meal. They also received new clothing, hygiene products and a bag full of hope and joy for their children because they could provide them with a few new toys.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can only speak to the toy room since that was my job. It would be great either have more financial donations or partner with some retailers to give a variety of gifts based on sex and ages. Children 10+ were hard to fill. I think it would be great to develop a specific age plan for books too.

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Rating: 5 stars  

It has been a blessing to me to volunteer with the youngest children receiving services at the Atlanta Day Shelter. I have brought a music program for toddlers and preschools weekly for the past 2 months and the children are such a joy! What impressed me the most about the shelter is their sincere care for the women and children who come to them for assistance. It is a well run, organized, caring environment that truly seeks to empower women and help them better their lives and the lives of their children through education and support.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing women desire to better their lives by taking advantage of the services and support offered by the Shelter.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage more people to volunteer; it is such a blessing!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I found the Atlanta Day Shelter to be a place of empowerment for building women lives holistic. It was the right place for my clincial volunteer service. The Atlanta Day Shelter helps women in many areas such as: computer skills, job applications, dress for success, clothings, food and nutrition, grooming and showering on a daily basis. The Atlanta Day Shelter is one of professional services for all women that come for assistance. i enjoyed my eight weeks and will volunteer again. In additional, I learned frm the Shelter and the clientel of women who came in for service. It was a great place to give service too. Lastly, the Atlanta Day Shelter is a veryy professional place with a hard-working staff and employees. That are the greatest.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Learning that eveyone who came for assistance at the shelter, did not not to, the economy plays a huge part of some women seeking for assistance. Also, some of the women are highly educated, but for some mishap in life, things happen, and they were able to get assistance which was very good. I was glad and appreciative to see help offered to these women with great joy.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would get two receptionist for the fron window, because it get so busy, it is very hard for one person to take care of so many people that come in at one time. Raining and cold days bring so many people into the shelter, and all have to be checked in by one person. The incoming front window really need to be two receptionists.

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