CPS collects clothing and household items which are sold in bulk to thrift stores.
Food donations are directly used to feed homeless men and women in Atlanta. The program’s primary outreach and screening opportunity occurs in a weekly faith-based service and meal provided at SafeHouse, a well established homeless services center in Atlanta. Each week, NSPIRE provides a nutritious meal and bottled water to 250-300 of Atlanta’s homeless.
CPS along with NSPIRE Atlanta is working with homeless men and women to support them in cultivating the skills and tools necessary to leave the streets behind for good. This innovative program addresses the whole person – mind, body and spirit – to examine and eliminate the situations and perceptions that led to living on the streets.
Each program participant is hired as a phone representatives for a charitable clothing pick up company. They receive job training, a competitive hourly wage, a clothing allowance, and the funds they help to secure go back into the program.
The program participants meet weekly with a clinical psychologist with specific experience in addiction, abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. They meet in groups as well as individually. The group sessions focus on survival skills, living and working in community and addressing fears and life changes during this transition.
With NSPIRE’s employment partner, Clothing Pick Up Services, each participant gets a new wardrobe of gently used clothing of their choosing that is work appropriate. Each participant is also given athletic apparel and shoes.
Food and Nutrition
Because of the work schedule, lunch is provided each day for the program participants through the church and other donations. NSPIRE also provides through an in-kind contribution vitamins and nutritional substitutes. The program’s primary outreach and screening opportunity occurs in a weekly faith-based service and meal provided at SafeHouse, a well established homeless services center in Atlanta. Each week, NSPIRE provides a nutritious meal and bottled water to 250-300 of Atlanta’s homeless.
Physical fitness and health
This is a holistic effort and physical health and well being are very important. Many of the participants have lived on high fat, high carbohydrate fast food diets. Others have diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS and still more are dealing with the physical impacts of drug and alcohol use. NSPIRE provides each participant a gym membership and participates in a physical training program where they train together three times a week as part of their program commitment.
The participants in this program are from Atlanta and the job site and faith community are located 25 miles north of the city in Gwinnett County. Through a generous donation, NSPIRE secured a 14 passenger van that provides transportation to and from the job site, alleviating an ongoing concern about transportation costs to and from work.
A spiritual community and spiritual growth
The cornerstone of this program is the faith-based mentoring program. Led by Pastor Gregg Kennard, the program emphasizes living a God-led life, valuing oneself and making choices and decisions through goal setting and prayer. Each week, the group meets to discuss concerns and issues, celebrate achievements, pray, meditate and support each other.
For three hours each week, the group meets to address a variety of issues around personal responsibility, legal issues, financial planning and budgeting, education and personal development. In addition to these classroom sessions, Mr. Kennard spends time with each individual to work on their specific concerns and obstacles that are roadblocks to leaving homelessness.
Physical appearance and taking pride in the way one looks is reflected in how one presents oneself to the world personally and professionally. For many who have lived on the streets, personal hygiene became a luxury. Through a partnership with Great Clips, each program participant is provided with haircuts at any time. In addition, through donations NSPIRE has assembled hundreds of hygiene kits for men, women and children that include basic hygiene items (soap, razor, washcloth, hair care products, skin lotion, diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, etc.) that are distributed to the program participants and others at SafeHouse.
NSPIRE can work with the homeless men and women in this program by providing jobs, meals, clothing, outreach, and opportunities for spiritual growth but without a roof over their head, what change can possibly survive? In an ambitious effort, NSPIRE is renting a home and six apartments for members of the program. NSPIRE provides the security deposit and thereafter the tenants pay rent and a portion of the utilities. The homes are furnished through donations.
The stores we work with provide low cost quality items as well as jobs and services in their community. They empower people to be able to provide clothing etc for their families and select from a large quantity of quality items so they can not only find items that fit but are the color etc that they want. Most of the stores carry over 20,000 garments. Each store provides jobs for over 25 full and part time employees.