ATLANTA DAY SHELTER FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN INC Overview
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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.
Someone who had 3 hours of volunteer time could: With just 3 hours of your time at the Atlanta Day Shelter you could: assemble critical needs kits with shampoo, soap, lotion, toothbrush, and toothpaste for over 500 people; prepare and serve a meal to approx. 150 women and children; assist the Computer Trainer in one of the computer classes taught on-site at the Shelter to an avg. of 15 women a week; sort clothes in one of our 3 clothing closets and help women pick out clothing; read a story to the children, participate in a craft, and play with them on the playground; help women prepare their resumes and cover letters to apply for a job...with just 3 hours of your time you can make a lasting difference in the lives of our guests.
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.
*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