WHO WE ARE
We're operating cold weather shelters and more
A Home for Everyone in DeKalb: A Collaborative Initiative on Homelessness launched in August 2017.
It began as an exploratory series of meetings labeled as Decatur/DeKalb Homeless Services Acceleration, convened by two long-time homeless-serving professionals living in DeKalb County, Rob Johnson and Shelly Fine. Concerned that Decatur and DeKalb had an urgent need to engage the wider community to accelerate and expand basic services to people experiencing homelessness, a group of local community leaders were engaged to assess the current status of homeless services, identify noticeable gaps, and make plans.
After nine months of study and consultation, the still-ad-hoc-group expanded and re-branded itself as “A Home for Everyone in DeKalb: A Collaborative Initiative on Homelessness” and set the following purpose:
to educate, engage, and empower a wide group of organizations and individuals to help accelerate providing shelter to people experiencing homelessness in our county. While carefully collaborating with the DeKalb Continuum of Care Collaboration and other service providers, “A Home” will focus on the key area of limited housing and attempt to provide housing with the help of individuals, non-profits, and the broad interfaith community.
“A Home for Everyone” also launched a Winter Freeze/Cold Weather Shelter initiative. Beginning in early January 2019 and running through March 21st, “A Home” opened two cold weather shelters at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and a little later, North Decatur Presbyterian Church. A Home developed a shelter manual, organized fundraising, supplied the shelter, recruited volunteers, and played the coordinating role that allowed the shelters to run efficiently.
Compassionate Atlanta generously offered to be the fiscal agent so that all monies donated to “A Home” could be tax-deductible.
In the first year, the two shelters served 70 individuals experiencing homelessness, including 18 women and 7 children, over 20 nights.
In November of 2019, “A Home” again opened a cold weather shelter at Decatur First United Methodist Church in downtown Decatur, serving 79 adults, including 31 women and ten children, over 26 nights with the help of 51 volunteers.
The next step for A Home was to focus on its original goal of filling the gap in permanent housing. With its extra funds, A Home planned to pay the first month rent, security and utility deposits for those who were living in hotels and were unable to save for these expenses. It aimed to do the same for those experiencing homelessness but in a less expensive rooming house situation.
As it turned out, a handful of people were housed but it became apparent that even with a little boost, many families did not have the money to afford apartments in DeKalb and those who were without a home were anxious about a shared situation.
With this information in mind, A Home has now embarked on a new campaign to find “Really Affordable Housing” (RAH) in DeKalb County for its residents. Please CLICK HERE for an outline of this project and consider joining the mission to find homes for “everyone in DeKalb.”