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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing

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.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Atlanta Day Shelter was a great choice for our annual AWF holiday service day. We were able to feel like we really made a difference for the organization and the women and children whom they serve. Atlanta Day Shelter staff were very organized and enthusiastic about our gifts. They let us have hands-on service in the lunchroom with the clients and also gave us a variety of afternoon projects in their clothes closet. It felt great to help them catch up with the many donations they were receiving and to watch the women shop for winter clothes. We were so inspired by our afternoon there that we came back and began a collection box to take to them with toiletries, undies and baby items. Some staff also made unsolicited financial contributions. The work was needed, appreciated and inspirational!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been blessed to volunteer at the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children for 20 years and have experienced many examples of the shelter's positive influence on the lives of thousands of women and children.
One specific example happened when I was shopping for oil cloth at Hancock's to make table cloths for the shelter's dining room. I was checking out and asked the lady at the register if she could possibly give me a discount as I represented the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children. She smiled sweetly and said she would be happy to give the shelter a discount as she had been a guest there. The shelter had ministered to her needs and assisted her in getting on her feet and finding employment. She said she had her own apartment and was now the manager of the Hancock's. We were in the middle of a capital campaign at the time and I asked Paula if she would speak at one of our events. She was a wonderful advocate for the love and support the Shelter gives each guest, as well as a remarkable example of the results the Atlanta Day Shelter achieves in the community.