I went to City of Refuge this evening to volunteer. City of Refuge offers both life saving resources and life building tools to individuals and families in Atlanta who are living on the margin. They have programs that span multiple areas of need – from food, clothing and shelter to job training, placement, housing, healthcare and education. Their goal is to provide access to and information about the best possible opportunities for success to those who are willing to work hard for positive change.
As I was driving down Joseph E. Boone Blvd, I noticed the stark difference in neighborhoods across the street. I later learned that the neighborhood surrounding City of Refuge is home to more inmates in Georgia’s prisons than any other in the state and that the zip code, 30314, is home to the highest crime rate of any zip code in Georgia. Despite this, City of Refuge is an “open campus” to the community during designated hours each day of the week. And, for me, there was no sense of danger or nervousness as I walked around.
Today I helped serve meals to women and children staying at City of Refuge. I was the only outside volunteer there but had a great time with the ladies who work there. They were welcoming and are really efficient in that kitchen. After serving the meal, I helped clean up before saying my goodbyes.
I really enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to going back, as well as to trying out some of their other programs.