You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Atlanta men's shelter to close after over 30 years due to underfunding


A men's shelter in a bustling area of Atlanta will close Wednesday after more than 30 years of service.

The board of directors filed a motion to permanently close the Journey Men’s Shelter on Nov. 15, according to Executive Director Keryl Oliver. 

"The decision made by the Board was not an easy one, but it was the right one," Oliver said.

The shelter, located at 1026 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, opened in 1982 "as a mission of Druid Hills Presbyterian Church in response to the needs of homeless men" in the area, the website states.  Formerly called Druid Hills Night Shelter, it began as a seasonal shelter that admitted men on a first-come first-served basis. 

In recent years, though, the agency began operating year-round and offered a six-month program that provided residents with the resources to work toward independent living. 

 MORE:

Families First expansion opens in Atlanta’s Westside

Low turnout at Black Lives Matter protest at Roswell City Hall 

 

Oliver, who became executive director in January, said the main reason for the closure was a shortage of operational expenses funding. 

The organization is privately funded, with primary income sources coming from partner churches, individuals, grants from the city of Atlanta, United Way and private foundations.

"While we have been incredibly grateful for the support we receive, unfortunately, a good portion of the grant money that is awarded has restrictions attached such as ‘mandatory matching’ before it can be used; or a specific designation that prevents us from applying the funds toward general operating expenses," Oliver said. 

She added that many nonprofits face the challenge of "overcoming the perception that money not designated specifically for the cause or population it serves is money that is being wasted."

Oliver said the shelter operates with an annual budget of approximately $260,000 — or "the equivalent of one salary for a corporate executive" — money that had to cover the following:

  • Serve 55-60 men, including: shelter, clothing, food, hot showers, electricity, Wi-Fi, laundry, MARTA cards and other resources; 
  • Perpetual building maintenance/repair for an aging structure;
  • Supplies for the shelter, as well as office and computer supplies; 
  • Under-market salaries for one full-time director, one full-time shelter manager, a part-time case manager, a part-time volunteer relations manager, a part-time development consultant and an as-needed relief night manager. 

Current shelter resident Austin Millwood described Journey as "the most realistic opportunity available for someone who wants to become self-sufficient again," and 

said the closing of the shelter has made "a hard situation harder," according to Oliver. 

As other area shelters are closing, such as nearby Open Door Community, Oliver encourages people to support shelters that are still open. She named the increase of housing costs and gentrification in the area as reasons more are at risk of losing their homes. 

"Our hearts are saddened that the shelter doors are closing but those of us with a passion to help will find a way to continue to support this important mission," Oliver said. 

Like North Fulton County News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Charlotte teen missing a year found alive in Gwinnett County; man arrested
Charlotte teen missing a year found alive in Gwinnett County; man arrested

A 17-year-old girl who left her Charlotte home more than a year ago was found alive in Gwinnett County on Sunday, the FBI said. A special agent in Charlotte received information that Hailey Burns might be in the Atlanta area. Overnight, FBI Atlanta agents and detectives with the Gwinnett County Police Department found Burns at a home located at 2723...
Witness describes violent collision that killed Marietta man
Witness describes violent collision that killed Marietta man

A Marietta man is dead after a collision between a car and a pickup truck Sunday afternoon. The crash happened about 12:17 p.m. on South Cobb Drive at Appleton Road, Cobb County police spokeswoman Officer Alicia Chilton said.  Bruce Barker, 66, was killed when his Ford Ranger collided with a Ford Mustang driven by 21-year old Jabriel Wooden...
Drug-sniffing dog to patrol middle, high schools in Hall County
Drug-sniffing dog to patrol middle, high schools in Hall County

Students in Hall County middle and high schools will have canine company when they return to classes this fall.  The school district invested $15,000 on a police dog trained to detect drugs that will patrol the halls daily, Channel 2 Action News reported. Parent Gail Drake told the news station she believes illegal narcotics are a problem on campus...
87-year-old trapped at home after tree hits house
87-year-old trapped at home after tree hits house

Julia May Preston was home with her son when a massive tree fell on her house, trapping her on her property indefinitely, she says. Preston, 87, lives in northwest Atlanta, where several days of wet weather has softened ground and contributed to trees uprooting, Channel 2 Action News reported. Her son, Thomas Turner, described the sounds as the tree...
California woman finds frog in her salad
California woman finds frog in her salad

A California woman found an unpleasant addition to her salad earlier this month, as she uncovered a dead frog nestled inside the lettuce. >> Read more trending news  Shawna Cepeda was dining at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in West Covina and noticed her salad had a bitter taste, according to a Yelp review she posted on June 13...
More Stories