Atlanta, GA — The staff of HOPE Atlanta, one of Atlanta’s oldest nonprofit organizations serving people experiencing (or at risk of) homelessness, had quite the surprise waiting when they returned to work after Labor Day: a $500,000 check from an anonymous donor through a fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
“This gift is nothing short of transformational. It took our breath away,” said HOPE Atlanta CEO Jeff Smythe. “The need is always greater than our available funds and resources, and this generous donation will allow us to serve so many more people who desperately need our help right now.”
And it comes at a time when low-income and marginalized communities, disproportionately affected by COVID-19, need assistance more than ever. HOPE Atlanta has experienced a 300% increase in calls for help since the start of the pandemic and is bracing for an avalanche of evictions when moratoriums end.
The donor requested that the funds be used to support rapid re-housing, beds for the MARTA partnership program, case management, rental assistance and eviction prevention.
HOPE Atlanta and partner organizations have played a key public health role during the pandemic with programs (like “Healthy Hotels”) to move unsheltered people to safety and curb the virus’s spread.
“If you’re reading this, friend, I want you to know just how much your gift will benefit our clients and community,” said Smythe. “You’re literally helping to save peoples’ lives and restore their livelihoods. On behalf of all of our staff and those who rely on our services: thank you.”
HOPE Atlanta (formerly Travelers Aid), founded in 1900, is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing and fighting homelessness. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive approach to address homelessness and provide solutions that promote lifelong stability.
If you would like to learn more about Atlanta’s homelessness issue and hear inspiring “stories of HOPE” from the front lines of COVID-19, you’re invited to join HOPE Atlanta for the virtual Heroes for HOPE event on October 15th. Registration is free and open to the public.