The Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s goal is to support organizations that improve the lives of economically vulnerable girls and women. The absence of economic self-sufficiency is at the heart of critical issues faced by girls and women in our community. AWF exists because barriers to success continue to impede women and girls living in poverty. Access to resources play a major role in determining the choices girls and women make. AWF supports organizations that lift girls and women up and out of poverty by increasing their access to services and opportunities for advancement. Ultimately, it is the Foundation’s goal to create healthier communities by ensuring barriers are removed, and that girls and women are utilized to their fullest potential.

The focus of AWF’s 2016 Spring Grant Cycle is on education & life skills for women and girls. The anticipated outcomes are:

  • Women gain increased knowledge and skills to assist their efforts to achieve economic self-sufficiency as evidenced by increased job skills, living wage job placements, and opportunities for career advancement.
  • Girls gain increased knowledge and skills to prepare for economic self-sufficiency as evidenced by increased high school graduation rates and access to educational opportunities.


2016 Grantees

Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity partners with working families, sponsors, and communities to build affordable, green, quality homes and to provide support services that promote successful home purchase and ownership. For 33 years, Atlanta Habitat has been a leading resource and advocate for affordable housing in metro Atlanta. Funding will support the expansion of their education efforts. The education program is designed to establish a sense of confidence, independence and community in homeowners. This is accomplished through a series of classes that focus on five areas: home management, finance, home maintenance, community involvement and personal development/continuing education. The program helps homeowners understand and manage their finances in a more comprehensive way, as well as support their personal growth. 85% of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity homeowners are female head of household.

Center for Family Resources (CFR)
The mission of the Center for Family Resources is to move people to self-sufficiency through financial stabilization, housing, and education. CFR assists individuals and families with incomes at 135% of poverty level who have lived in Cobb County for at least two months.  Funding will support the employment and education services for the Housing Program. The Housing Program places families in their own apartment as an alternative to congregate shelter. A variety of supportive services help stabilize the families as they address the issues that led to their becoming homeless. Families are housed in off-site apartments and must be employed or participating in educational or job training. Clients work intensely with a case manager to set and achieve progress toward an individual goal plan. This may include paying down debt and establishing a savings account or gaining a GED or other employment skills. All clients in the Housing program who are unemployed or underemployed are referred to the Job Lab where they work closely with an Employment/Education case manager. There, they are provided with intensive job coaching to learn job search skills, resume writing, and interviewing skills. The Employment/Education services will help women gain increased knowledge and skills to assist their efforts to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Clayton County Juvenile Justice Fund
Clayton County Juvenile Justice Fund is devoted to advocating for and serving disadvantaged at-risk middle school students in order to provide them with positive resources for success. Funding will support a new gender specific program that will connect disadvantaged at-risk middle school girls displaying unhealthy behaviors with evidence informed academic preparations and educational after school services. These services include professional tutoring, educational life skills, job readiness training, and intensive individual and group mentoring, in order to promote healthy behaviors, positive youth development, and healthy adaptive skills. The majority of Clayton County Public Schools students reside in low-income homes as evidenced by 100% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunches. Additionally 51% of the County’s population resides in a food desert, 25% are uninsured, and 16% live in poverty.

Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM)
The mission of Decatur Cooperative Ministry is to help families facing homelessness settle into safe, stable homes and build healthy lives filled with peace, hope and opportunity. Serving approximately 1,000 individuals each year, DCM provides families with the programs and supportive services needed to achieve and maintain long-term housing stability. Funding will support Hagar’s House, the emergency shelter program for women and children. An Employment Specialist will work with mothers one-on-one weekly to address barriers to employment, to provide updates on employment-related activities, and to problem solve challenges. The Employment Specialist will also provide mothers with financial literacy and job readiness workshops, and connect mothers to opportunities for free or affordable childcare, transportation assistance, job training and other employment services.

Families First, Inc.
Families First is Georgia’s largest family and children’s services agency with 16 locations across metro Atlanta. They impact an average of 37,000 children and families each year, through 11 program strategies that are designed to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and to ensure the success of our community’s most vulnerable children. Funding will support the TeenAge Pregnancy and Parenting (TAPP) program which operates in Clayton, DeKalb and Fulton counties. Families First’s TAPP program helps pregnant and parenting teens complete their education, deliver healthy babies, become responsible parents, and delay or prevent future pregnancies. TAPP targets young women, ages 13 to 19, living in low-income families, who are uniquely vulnerable to poor health, education drop out, and lack of resources and supports.

Friends of Refugees
The mission of Friends of Refugees is to empower refugees through opportunities that provide for their well-being, education and employment. They work in Clarkston, GA, an Atlanta suburb that resettles about 2,500 refugees each year. Funding will support the Refugee Family Literacy Program. The program provides English literacy education and life/job skills instruction for refugee women along with childcare and preschool for their children under the age of 5. They currently teach 250 women and children for ten months per year. Refugees resettled in the United States face many challenges – poverty, post-traumatic stress, lack of English, cultural adjustment – and they receive only 90 days of full resettlement support.

Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS)
Jewish Family & Career Services is a nonsectarian social services agency providing services in the Atlanta area for more than 100 years. Their wide range of wrap-around services include client-centered, outcome-focused programing for all populations regardless of religion, age, race, gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, and is guided by two overarching priorities, health and well-being, and self-sufficiency. The JF&CS Transitional Employment Program assists the unemployed or underemployed, including those with long-term unemployment of 27 or more weeks. Funding will allow JF&CS to pay for childcare needed by women with children who comprise approximately 19 percent of their transitional employment clients, while they are in training. It will further allow JF&CS to maintain a part-time job developer dedicated to identifying employers with appropriate jobs for transitional employment clients and negotiating placement opportunities, including regular employment, coaching and subsidized employment.

Latin American Association (LAA)
The mission of LAA is to empower Latino individuals and families to adapt, integrate and thrive. Their vision is Opportunity for All. Founded in 1972 to serve Atlanta’s then-emerging Latino population, the LAA has grown to become the region’s leading agency representing Latino issues. Funding will support the Latina Leadership Institute, and will afford two critical strategic enhancements to the program that will build capacity of the Institute to serve an increased number of low-income women and create access to new and unparalleled resources. Funding will also provide support for the program’s life skills and English classes, job readiness workshops and business education courses. Today, Latinos account for 10 percent of the population, numbering near one million state-wide. In metro Atlanta, the Hispanic population now stands at nearly 12 percent. LAA serves approximately 44,000 individuals each year.

Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences, Inc. (MARR)
MARR’s mission is to bring lasting, total recovery through high-quality, cost effective, and gender-specific addiction treatment. MARR provides long-term residential addiction treatment. The Therapeutic Community model promotes accountability, responsibility and acceptance. Funding will support the Right Side Up Program (RSU). RSU is a “Ready for Work” residential treatment program for women with children. The program is designed to provide support for the lifestyle changes needed to achieve and maintain long-term recovery and to remove substance abuse as a barrier to employment. The RSU Job Coach is instrumental in teaching women job skills, increasing their self-esteem, discovering successful employment, and guiding them to becoming more self-sufficient.

Nicholas House
The mission of Nicholas House is to help homeless families achieve self-sufficiency by providing a temporary place to live while identifying and addressing the root causes of a family’s homelessness so they may never become homeless again. Nicholas House provides a concentrated program to provide temporary housing and basic needs along with the planning, education and tools needed to establish a platform for greater earned income and family self-sufficiency long-term. The foundation of all their efforts is to work with the mother to create an individual service plan, determining the mother’s barriers to self-sufficiency and creating a plan to address them. Funding will support the Self-Sufficiency Program. The program helps homeless families become self-sufficient long-term through case management, individual plan development, adult education/training and youth services to break generational cycles. Nicholas House provides temporary housing to more than 600 homeless people annually (70% children) via the Boulevard group shelter location and more than 65 scattered site apartments.

Our House
Our House’s mission is to break the chains of homelessness by providing quality early childhood education and comprehensive support for families experiencing homelessness. Funding will support the Family Advocacy and Employment Readiness/CDA programs for homeless and low income women. The Family Advocacy and CDA program work in close coordination with Our House’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Emergency Shelter programs in order to provide the interrelated services that homeless women need to achieve housing and positive employment outcomes. The Child Development Associate (CDA) training program combines 120 hours of classroom instruction with 400 hours of paid job training. The program is free and open to homeless and low-income women, 18 years or older, who have a HS diploma/GED and who express a desire to enter the field of ECE. The overarching goal of the CDA program is to enable homeless and low-income women to obtain education, job skills and experience, and a national credential in the field of Early Childhood Education in order to secure permanent employment as a teacher. Participants can also apply the CDA credential towards between 6-9 college credits in an Associate’s degree program in the field of early childhood education.

Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV)
The mission of PADV is to end the crime of intimate partner violence and empower its survivors. PADV works to educate the public on the dynamics of intimate partner violence; promote healthy dating relationships among adolescents and teens to prevent future violence; offer safety and shelter for battered women and their children; restore power, self-sufficiency, and control to survivors; and create an effective and coordinated community response to intimate partner violence. PADV’s roster of services includes a 24-hour crisis line; two 24-hour emergency shelters with 96 beds; legal advocacy; supportive housing; outreach and prevention programs for battered women not needing shelter services; education and trainings on domestic violence in the workplace; general community education and awareness on intimate partner violence, and a teen violence prevention program promoting healthy relationships. Funding will support a strategic partnership with the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency (ACSS) to offer job readiness services to PADV clients. Formed in 2010, ACSS’s mission is to empower homeless women and men to achieve economic self-sufficiency and their ultimate potential to thrive in life. ACSS currently graduates between 30-35 clients per month, with a 70% job placement rate and a 75% six-month job retention rate.

Veterans Empowerment Organization (VEO)
The mission of VEO is to enhance the quality of life for all veterans on their road to self-sufficiency. Founded in 2008, VEO filled a gap in services for veterans in Atlanta as the first organization to exclusively serve veterans. VEO’s self-sufficiency model provides an environment that allows veterans to rebuild their lives by returning the dignity lost to the circumstances that left them homeless. Funding will support the Family Permanent Housing Program for Women. The Family Permanent Supportive Housing Program will use VEO’s proven “housing first” model to provide free, safe furnished apartments for each family. Homeless female veterans and their families will receive food, transportation, clothing, job training, health care, substance abuse counseling and mental health support. Each family will be assigned a Case Manager, who will tailor supportive care, including assistance with receiving Veterans Administration and other benefits. As many as 93% percent of female veterans have been exposed to some type of trauma. The high concentration of trauma among women veterans contributes to the fact that women veterans are four times more likely to become homeless than their civilian counterparts. Among homeless women veterans, 53 percent have experienced military sexual trauma (MST), compared to one in five among women veterans in general. Women currently make up 8% of the total veteran population and 14.6% of the active military. With the steady increase of women in the military, there has been a significant increase in the number of homeless female veterans. Since 2006 the number of homeless women veterans in the United States has doubled.