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Emmaus House

Overview

Emmaus House is a cluster of five buildings on the corner of Hank Aaron Drive and Haygood Avenue in the Peoplestown neighborhood just south of Turner Field

Founded by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Emmaus House has an operating budget of $650,000 that is supported by foundations, individuals, and the Diocese Of Atlanta. We offer over 150,000 hours of direct service in programs for youth, adults, seniors and families each year.

Mission

Welcoming and respecting all, Emmaus House seeks to diminish poverty and its broader consequences by strengthening individuals, families and communities through education, assistance and social action.

Vision

To be recognized as a model of God’s compassionate community where people from all walks of life work together joyfully to diminish poverty and its broader consequences by striving for economic security, social justice, dignity and peace, thus transforming hearts and empowering minds and wills.

Goals

The goals for Emmaus House are both short and long term in structure. Overall they are designed to improve economic security, address the immediate need for social, material, educational and spiritual support and to educate the larger community about issues of social justice.

Emmaus House Founder: Father Ford

In 1967, Father Austin Ford, an Episcopal Priest and advocate for civil rights, moved into 1017 Hank Aaron Drive (formerly Capitol Avenue) along with two nuns and a seminary student. The home purchased with the support of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta was a dilapidated two-story rooming house. With no real plan Father Ford and his colleagues went to work fixing up the house. Neighborhood children started showing up at their doorstep asking to come in and parents soon followed informing Father Ford of their needs. Like the settlement houses of the 1920s, Father Ford garnered resources to benefit Peoplestown residents and established an after-school program, once-a-month transportation to Reidsville State Prison for family members of inmates, chapel services, hot meals, and a poverty rights office. As a strong advocate for integration, Father Ford encouraged families to send their children to majority white schools when the courts mandated that Atlanta provide free transportation to any African-American child. Ford was also instrumental in winning a landmark lawsuit granting welfare recipients the right to a hearing before the state reduced their grants. Under Father Ford’s leadership and the countless volunteers that supported his efforts, Emmaus House evolved into an important resource for the Peoplestown community.

Read Father Ford’s personal account of his relationship to Emmaus House here as told to LeeAnn Lands.
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