Is there really a way to End Homelessness? Would it stir your spirit, excite your imagination and engage your creativity to know that Atlanta Mission is committed to demonstrating, and then sharing with other organizations across the country and around the world, a transformational model of care, restoration and accountability that effectively addresses the causes, patterns and impact of homelessness? Not just restored housing, but restored health, restored souls and transformed lives. Experiencing the love of Jesus Christ through the talented professional staff and volunteers at Atlanta Mission, guests are guided toward personalized success outcomes, utilizing customizable tools and services that address varied individual needs and circumstances.
Atlanta Mission becomes a bridge back to community life with dignity and a new set of tools to create a future of hope and possibility. Driven by compassion in Jesus’ name and informed by a metrics-based, continuous improvement approach to best practices, Atlanta Mission is the city's largest and longest running provider of services to homeless men, women and children. Established in 1938, through strategic community partnerships in financial services, mental health, medical care and job retraining, Atlanta Mission provides emergency shelter, temporary shelter, recovery programming, job attainment services and transitional housing to more than 1,000 men, women and children daily. With a mission to transform, through Christ, the lives of those facing homelessness, Atlanta Mission aims to serve and lift all of those facing homelessness in the city, even those who do not come to their facilities.
The CEO of Atlanta Mission is Jim Reese, who joined the ministry in 2008. Before transitioning to Atlanta Mission, he was a member of the Executive Board of Netherlands-based Randstad Holding NV, and the Chief Executive Officer of Randstad North America with oversight for Randstad United Kingdom. As CEO of Randstad North America, Reese had responsibility for more than 500 offices and 2,300 staff members. Prior to joining Randstad, Reese was Chief Operating Officer for the Honeybaked Ham Company. He was responsible for the company's more than 125 retail stores, as well as its catalog business, new business development, business-to-business services, corporate gift services, real estate, store construction, purchasing and quality assurance. Reese served as Division Vice President of Operations for Frito-Lay, the $5+ billion Snack Food Division of PepsiCo. In addition to overseeing the company's engineering and quality assurance programs, Reese was responsible for supporting sales in excess of $900 million through eight manufacturing plants, 22 distribution centers, all sales warehouses and the driving fleet. Prior to working at Frito-Lay, Reese managed the General Food's Maxwell House Coffee Plant, in Jacksonville, Florida – "the world's largest coffee plant." In 1989, Reese co-founded the First Coast Manufacturers Association, which today includes more than 300 Florida manufacturers.
In 1980, Reese earned his B.B.A. in Marketing and Business from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Reese is a board member of the Atterro Human Capital Group, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Growing Leaders Foundation, Matchstic and a past member of the Board of the American Staffing Association. He is also a member of the Downtown Rotary Club and past Chairman of the Elders at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. He has addressed audiences at Yale University and Western Michigan University, and at various business conferences on a variety of topics including: "The Challenge of Leadership," "Business Ethics," and "Today's Workforce - Current Trends and Challenges of the Future."
Atlanta Mission's programs are shining the light of Christ’s love to the city of Atlanta, specifically to those who are struggling with job loss, trauma, tragedy, addiction, domestic violence or any number of life-controlling issues. Atlanta Mission defines itself by a Christ-centered culture focused on serving others so that each person would know and be transformed by Christ and grow in Him by hearing and experiencing the gospel.
Through successful resource development ($10M-$12M year), in-kind giving ($3M year), revenue provided through its resale stores ($3M year) and careful stewardship ($18M endowment), Atlanta Mission helps those they serve find a firm foundation as a new creation in Christ and find the strength to make new life choices.
High-profile supporters like Coca-Cola, Accenture, Wells Fargo, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Home Depot, SunTrust, Deloitte and many others have recognized and embraced the innovation taking place through Atlanta Mission. Two years ago, a regular Tuesday men’s Bible-study attendee at Atlanta Mission chaired a community-wide capital campaign that raised $6.5M for expansion of The Potter’s House facilities. In addition, each year Connor Partners, a well-known transformational change consulting firm in Atlanta, selects a single non-profit organization for an all-out commitment to transformational change in an organization selected for its high-value impact potential. In 2014 they selected Atlanta Mission as their focus charity, providing loaned executives and key strategic services. This grant is allowing Atlanta Mission to measure and capture the kind of outcomes that inform and validate increasingly sophisticated and yet personalized methods to bring about dramatic and sustainable change in those lives Atlanta Mission touches.
Because the reasons for homelessness are complex, Atlanta Mission provides a variety of services designed to meet men, women and children where life has led them. Various design elements have become the subject of intensive study and measurement over the last three years. These well researched and documented indices are converted to dashboard reporting for clients in each of five critical areas: physical, emotional, spiritual, social and vocational. Atlanta Mission’s ministry centers include: The Shepherd’s Inn (shelter and recovery programs for men); Fuqua Hall (transitional living for men); The Potter’s House (men’s recovery program and transitional housing); My Sister’s House (women and children’s shelter and recovery program for women) and The Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children (day services). All programs provide support to men and women as they take the courageous step away from homelessness and addiction toward a new life in Christ.
Atlanta Mission’s shelters offers a warm, safe place to sleep, three hot meals each day and a staff team ready to engage relationally with guests to meet their individual needs and to minister to them with the love of Christ. Serving approximately 600 homeless men, women and children each day, the shelter teams work with men and women to secure jobs, find housing solutions or enter a recovery program. With Christ as their example, the team ministers to every one individually. Both the teams and volunteers make-up beds before each guest arrives for the evening and guests are served hot, nutritious meals, creating a comfortable, restful environment.
Some who come to the shelters choose to enter Atlanta Mission’s recovery programs, which offers long-term residential discipleship and recovery to approximately 280 men and women on three campuses located in Atlanta and in northeast Georgia. Some men choose to move to Atlanta Mission’s transitional living programs, a home for men who have completed the Mission's shelter or recovery programs. Serving approximately 150 men, the transitional living program consists of dorm rooms for clients who volunteer, work full time and/or attend school. These men stay in the dorm for a minimum of six months and graduate after completing individual goals. This program, in particular, provides extended support to men who are overcoming tragic losses, difficult circumstances and destructive lifestyles.
Atlanta Mission also provides men and women with a much needed opportunity to seek employment. The shelter-based Job Attainment programs helps prepare men and women for job search, provides them coaching and support during the job search process and even provides them with appropriate attire and a place to stay while they're becoming accustomed to a new job.