Every morning 13,000 people in our city wake up with no place to call home. Approximately 2,500 of them are children. Founded in 1986, the Atlanta Children's Shelter provides free, quality day care, emotional support, an educational curriculum for homeless children, and focused social services for their families.
Dedicated to helping families overcome the issues that contribute to homelessness, including domestic violence and job loss, the Atlanta Children's Shelter focuses on the long term self sufficiency of the family – which sets us apart from other Atlanta homeless shelters.
Since 1986 the Atlanta Children’s Shelter has provided loving childcare for more than 7,700 homeless children while guiding over 5,050 homeless families to self-sufficiency.
The Atlanta Children's Shelter provides loving, high-quality child development and support services for homeless families striving to become self-sufficient.
In any given year, approximately 85% of the parents we serve are single homeless mothers, with 30% to 50% fleeing domestic violence. The most powerful aspect of the Atlanta Children's Shelter is the journey each successful parent takes in achieving self-empowerment, preparing them to make the decisions that create permanent self-sufficiency as a contributing member of our community.
While there are several tip off points that facilitate homelessness for the families we serve, the underlying issue ACS meets each day head-on is ending poverty.
The ACS Early Childcare program was accredited in March 2000 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Only 7% of all childcare operations in the United States have reached this accreditation level.
Why we are needed
Studies done by The Wilder Research Center concluded that homeless children experience excessive developmental delays, twice the rate of learning disabilities, and three times the rate of emotional and behavioral disorders as housed children. It is estimated by the Tri-Jurisdictional Collaborative that as many as 25% of the homeless are in homeless families. This facility offers the only free NAEYC-accredited early childcare in the City of Atlanta.
The Population We Serve
The Atlanta Children's Shelter serves homeless families in Atlanta and our surrounding counties regardless of ethnicity, race religion or gender. In 2008, 38% of the families we served cited Domestic Violence as the reason for their homelessness followed by Loss of Employment (23%), Relocation (19%), Eviction (15%), Overcrowding (2%), Divorce/Separation (2%), and Illness (1%).
Our Early Childcare Program
Each day, up to 40 children can find safe haven in our NAEYC-accredited Early Childcare Program. Families remain with us as long as they continue working toward self-sufficiency and long-term stability. This is assessed daily by our on-site case manager and social worker. Children from one month to five years old receive the following services and much more:
• A safe, secure, loving environment five days per week, Mon-Fri, 7am to 6pm
• A curriculum designed to guide each child through the four developmental domains of early childhood
• A state-of-the-art childcare facility
• Two healthy meals and two snacks daily
• Childhood immunizations
• New seasonal clothing and shoes
The Atlanta Children's Shelter is nonresidential. We partner with local emergency shelters and transitional living facilities to provide comprehensive care for each member of a homeless family to stabilize the family and teach them to build a firm foundation.
Thank you for your consideration.