They do a lot with a little. Great staff working hard to create a great place for babies and families. They provide families everything including shelter, food, daycare, baby supplies. And you gotta love the babies!
As a professional who has worked with families in poverty for over twenty years I have experienced the 'inside story' of shelters and families and have what I would classify as intimate knowledge of this vulnerable population and difficult work context. No shelter that I have ever worked with or visited is perfect. Genesis A New Life is a unique place where the most vulnerable are cared for with hopeful intentionality that the future can be a place of stability for young families to grow and develop. The shelter is clean, well organized and provides structure. The families are given responsibility for their lives and the opportunity to work collaboratively with staff, community and each other to move forward with building a secure environment in which they can raise their children. Every shelter I have ever known struggles with accessing material resources. Every shelter I have ever known struggles with how to create an environment where there is enough structure and enough support to promote motivation and give opportunity. Genesis, like all shelters, could use help with these issues. As I read other reviews and thought about what I know about Genesis I would say that there are ways to help. Since supplies are donated then a year supply of cleaning materials would help. Since child care is always an issue for families in poverty then scholarships for initial child care spaces either from child care agencies, churches or individuals would help. Even short term scholarships that give a family an initial hand up until a job can be secured would help. I think with the current resources that are available to assist homeless shelters everywhere Genesis does a good job at taking what is given and using it to give opportunity to families to move forward with their lives. Over the years I have been struck by how people are quick to judge and criticize those who work with the issues of poverty suggesting that they are not doing it right or not doing enough. Now criticism does make us think. But criticism as a sole method of communication does not lead to solutions. It only discourages people from digging deeper into ways that they could be community and make a difference. I read the reviews that were previously written and I thought about all the homeless shelters that are judged insufficient and wondered what would happen if all those people who want to take away help chose to offer assistance, concrete assistance instead. It is always interesting to me how one negative review draws much more attention than all the statements of good. I do believe the work at Genesis A New Life is a 'work in progress.' I also believe that the organization that supports Genesis A New Life can be proud of the work that is being done and that continued support, encouragement and ideas can be useful to helping this needed and helpful work to grow and develop. I will continue to be positive about the work at Genesis A New Life and look for ways to help in this vital effort to provide a place where young families can find a new start.
Not sure where DonorCEO is coming from. I've volunteered at Genesis, and the whole program is designed to support the babies and families while kinda making the parents do the right thing - get it together, get a job and get themselves in a home. Child care is provided as soon as there's space. Genesis gives the families everything they need, diapers, sheets, soap, washing machines, food, bus passes. I've had to help clean up after events and they've always had cleaning supplies. I think it's a great, warm, caring place.
Genesis has a unique program design unduplicated in the state of Georgia: to serve homeless newborns and their families with a comprehensive range of services to facilitate their move from homelessness to poverty. They do a lot with very little money, including six months of shelter, food, provision of all baby supplies and personal care items, free licensed child care for the families. They do a great job utilizing volunteers to support their services.
Review from Guidestar
Genesis shelter has so many problems that it boggles the mind.
The shelter has "policies" that conflict with the best interests of the children and families it serves.
Example 1.) If a parent enters the shelter with a newborn, obviously childcare is the first priority to attain self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, the onsite daycare is off-limits for new residents to enroll their children. These new parents are placed on a long waiting list for childcare, however the policies require residents to job search as a requirement of their stay immediately upon entering. (How can a person job search and attend interviews with a newborn child in tow?? Hmmm...)
Example 2.) The shelter has a policy of requiring resident parents to leave the building from 9:30am to 3pm everyday. This is regardless of if the weather is raining cats and dogs. Picture this...a parent being booted out in the rain with a newborn baby. This is a recipe for disaster for the new baby as well as the still healing mother. As we all know, a newborn does not have a fully developed system to withstand the harsh elements of rain, sleet, snow, cold windy weather, etc for long periods of time.
Example 3.) Shelter policies require parents to complete chores as a requirement of their stay. This is normally the case at most shelters, however Genesis shelter never has enough tools (brooms, mops, dust pans, etc) to complete the chores efficiently. Due to the refusal of the shelter directors to spend a few bucks on necessary cleaning supplies, resident parents have been known to sweep up entire floors and resort to picking up the unsanitary trash with their hands and scraps of printer paper as makeshift dust pans. This is a blatant health hazard. If donors are providing the funds to this shelter to purchase needed items, couldn't shelter personnel use a mere $10 or $20 dollars of donor funds and purchase cleaning supplies? If other donors realized the unsanitary nature of this shelter and how their funds are being misused, donations would dry up or heads would roll.
In conclusion, before donating your hard earned money to Genesis "New Life" shelter, take a few moments to catch a few of the parents who actually used the "services" of Genesis Shelter instead of receiving the PR spiel from the talking head directors and staff members. You will be surprised at what you may hear and see.
A former donor
Review from Guidestar