Elisabeth Omilami, CEO of Hosea Helps, said the Atlanta-based nonprofit can stay in its Donnelly Avenue location until the end of August.
Omilami said Hosea Helps, which helps feed and clothe the homeless and others in need, would have been homeless itself on July 1. She said the nonprofit was notified by the landlord that its rent would rise from $4,000 a month to as much as $8,000.
Their landlord has since, though, given them more time to find a site and raise money.
The organization, formerly known as Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, started a GoFundMe page that has raised nearly $10,000 of a lofty $600,000 goal.
However, the amount of money raised is actually higher. What the crowdfunding site does not reflect, she said, is $200,000 donated by the city, $14,000 in pledges and more than $40,000 raised during a Kiss-a-thon hosted by Sasha the Diva and Art Terrell of Kiss 104.1.
“I am asking the people of the city of Atlanta to join this movement to help us now that we have identified a building that has expansion potential for classes and job training and placement,” said Omilami, whose parents, Hosea and Juanita Williams, founded the nonprofit. “We can prevent homelessness, provide children with tools for school, seniors with fresh fruits and vegetables and continue our 47-year journey to alleviating the effects of poverty on our families.”
That still leaves a lot of money to raise. The GoFundMe page said the money will be used to buy a new warehouse and for moving expenses and closing costs. She said officials have found a site, with an existing building and about 4 acres of land off Cleveland Avenue.
She said the nonprofit has not made “an official ask” yet of major contributors, including corporations. “The question is where is the big money in Atlanta and how do we access it?”
On the GoFundMe page, amounts were from about $10 to several hundred dollars. Donors ranged from individuals to members of the Theta Lambda Lambda Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Some took time to leave encouraging messages.
“God Bless You for all you do to feed & take care of the needs of the homeless. But for the Grace of God, there go I,” one person wrote.
Another posted this message:
“Never give up!”