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For over 30 years The Atlanta children's Shelter assisted over 5,000 homeless children and 8,000 homeless families with overcoming generational poverty. The Atlanta Children's Shelter is unique to other area shelters because the program strongly emphasizes long-term self-sufficiency for the homeless families served.
As an organization, we apply the Two-Generation Approach (2GEN) which is defined as creating opportunities and addressing problems for both children and their parents or guardians in a cohesive manner, all while acknowledging that family systems are diverse and self-defined. By utilizing the 2GEN Approach, we aim to comprehensively facilitate physical, emotional, social and economic well-being for families experiencing homelessness. ACS implements this holistic methodology through a variety of programs and services created for both homeless children and their parents.
The Atlanta Children's Shelter has two core programs designed to advance the 2GEN Approach; a nationally accredited and state licensed Early Childhood Education Program for children and a comprehensive Social Services Program for their parents. Each family receives customized services to meet their unique and dynamic needs. This includes enhanced case management, on-site clinic visits, mental health counseling and emotional support. Partner organizations provide support when more intense or supplementary services are necessary. The Early Childhood Education Program's Health, Wellness and Nutrition initiatives are offered to improve health and academic outcomes for the children under our care. Instilling healthy habits during early childhood is essential to promote lifelong vitality and to prevent disease and chronic illness. Enrichment activities complement personalized curriculum, ensuring children meet their developmental milestones. The Social Services Program includes Hire Up, a workforce development initiative, the Women's Pathway to Success scholarship program as well as a wrap-around, Aftercare Program which prevents recurring instances of homelessness.
The Atlanta Children's Shelter (ACS) was founded in 1986 by members of the Junior League of Atlanta and North Avenue Presbyterian Church who were troubled by the increasing number of homeless families living on the streets. Out of their concern, the Atlanta Children's Shelter was established to provide a safe, nurturing place of refuge for young homeless children and their families. Our mission is to provide loving, quality child development and support services for homeless families striving to become self-sufficient. Some of the support services provided to homeless children include, free nutritional meals daily, weekly Play Therapy and on-site medical services in our pediatric clinic. In order to accomplish this mission, ACS provides free, high-quality early childhood education, emotional support and individually tailored social services for each family. ACS is committed to addressing the issues that contribute to homelessness such as domestic violence, job loss and generational poverty. The agency is staffed with a group of highly qualified and well-trained individuals who care deeply about the homeless families served. All staff is trained in Trauma-Informed Care. This approach to treatment is grounded in recognizing and appropriately responding to trauma with sensitivity. Each team member is knowledgeable regarding the unique dynamic which exists for homeless families with young children.
Jordan Martin, Resource Development Coordinator, (404) 892-3713, firstname.lastname@example.org