Category Archives: News

Turner Hosts Sixth Annual Thanksgiving Luncheon for Our House Families and Staff

For the sixth year in a row, Turner Broadcasting hosted Our House families for a Thanksgiving Luncheon last Friday, November 20, held this year at the Friends School in Decatur. The luncheon included all the Thanksgiving staples, from stuffing to apple pie, as well as craft projects for the kids, a family photo session for each family, and a Thanksgiving poem performance from one of the pre-K classes. At least 65 families were in attendance, in addition to a number of Our House teachers and staff, representing an estimated 200 people.

Turner Broadcasting came prepared to serve with forty volunteers from many branches of the company including CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, and TNT. The team from Turner Media provided beautiful black and white family portraits to each family. The photos were printed and framed on-site, so that families could take their new keepsakes with them. Judging from the length of the line, the families loved their photos!

We would like to give thanks to Turner Broadcasting for their commitment over many years of generous service. Thank you for putting on such a fun and festive celebration for our families and staff! The Turner volunteers also brought donations of diapers, wipes, and formula to be given to Our House families at both the Atlanta and Decatur sites. Donations like these are essential to Our House operations, and we are so grateful for this magnanimous support.

We are also grateful to the Friends School for partnering with us to provide the event space. The size of the facility was a perfect fit for our group, and the easy distance between the Friends School and Our House’s Decatur site made it convenient for many to attend.

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Atlanta Women’s Foundation Awards $25,000 to Support Women at Our House

Our House is most grateful to the Atlanta Women’s Foundation for its support of our Family Advocacy and Employment Readiness/CDA job training program. The mission of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF) is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls and to end generational poverty.

AWF 2013 research on effective approaches to breaking generational poverty reports that programs that address the multiple issues low-income families face, that place an emphasis on education and that shine a path toward success have the greatest opportunity to make meaningful and lasting change in the lives of families. “Employment,” according to AWF, “is the most obvious path to success—if a woman can find a well-paying, stable career, she will be able to care for her children and set them on a better path.”

AWF’s $25,000 grant allows Our House to set the women in our Child Development Associate (CDA) job training program on a path to greater stability and work success. Working in conjunction with our Family Advocacy program, the CDA program combines classroom instruction and paid job training to prepare participants to earn the nationally-recognized CDA Credential. AWF’s grant enables us to deliver a paid stipend to program participants, provide transportation assistance in the form of MARTA bus/rail cards, as well as meet other program objectives.

Our House is most grateful to receive the support of the Atlanta Women’s Foundation as we work towards a collective vision to end generational poverty among metro Atlanta families.

Premier Organizations Serving Homeless Children Merge

Two metro Atlanta organizations that fill a compelling need for homeless children and families—Our House and Genesis Shelter—will combine operations on July 1st.

Our House opened its doors to children in 1988 and is a full-day, year-round, nationally accredited early childhood education center. It serves up to 79 children daily and offers comprehensive support services to parents experiencing homelessness. If parents without permanent housing—often single women—need to go to, look for or train for a job, that parent’s child has quality, reliable early childhood education at Our House.

Bank of America Awards $218,000 to Address Critical Needs in Metro Atlanta

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced $218,000 in grants to 13 nonprofits in metro Atlanta addressing critical needs, such as hunger and shelter to longer-term solutions that promote financial wellness through access to benefits and resources. This is in addition to the $436,000 in grants to Atlanta nonprofits announced earlier this year that support housing and workforce development and education programs.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced $218,000 in grants to 13 nonprofits in metro Atlanta addressing critical needs, such as hunger and shelter to longer-term solutions that promote financial wellness through access to benefits and resources. This is in addition to the $436,000 in grants to Atlanta nonprofits announced earlier this year that support housing and workforce development and education programs.

“We’re working to meet the day-to-day needs of those who live and work in our community,” said Geri Thomas, Georgia market president, Bank of America. “These grants will help nonprofits continue to address Atlanta’s most pressing needs while helping individuals become more financial stable in the long term.”

This funding is part of the company’s intensified philanthropic focus on three core issues vital to the economic health of communities: housing, jobs and hunger and represents an important component of Bank of America’s lending, investing and giving activities to help advance local economies.

Our House was lucky enough to be a recipient of one of these grants. We work with metro area homeless children to receive a quality, free early education. Our Family Advocates connect parents to needed resources, offer counseling and provide referrals and support to secure outside services. The grant will help Our House continue to provide these comprehensive services to homeless children and their families.

Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work.

Our House Receives Bank of America Critical Needs Grant

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently announced $134,000 in grants to nine nonprofits in metro Atlanta addressing critical needs, such as hunger, shelter and long-term solutions that promote financial wellness through access to benefits and resources.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently announced $134,000 in grants to nine nonprofits in metro Atlanta addressing critical needs, such as hunger, shelter and long-term solutions that promote financial wellness through access to benefits and resources.

“We’re committed to supporting our local community and look to make investments that are responding to the greatest needs of the people that live here,” said Geri Thomas, Georgia president, Bank of America. “These grants will assist nonprofits addressing metro Atlanta’s immediate needs while also supporting integrated services that will help people get back on their feet.”

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s funding is part of the company’s intensified philanthropic focus on three core issues vital to the economic health of communities: housing, jobs and hunger. Funding opportunities represent an important component of Bank of America’s lending, investing and giving activities to help advance local economies.

Our House was most fortunate to receive a $25,000 Critical Needs grant in FY 2013 to support our programs and services to homeless children and families. We are most grateful for the support of the Bank of America Foundation. This support enables us to provide homeless children with the bright start they deserve while helping their parents to achieve stability and independence.

Thank you, Bank of America Foundation for your continued investment in the lives of children and families throughout metro Atlanta.

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Our House is happy to report that we have finalized our updated Strategic Plan.

Our Board and staff worked very hard over the last several months to develop a new three-year strategic plan for the organization. The goal of the strategic planning process was to identify the local needs which Our House could address, to determine the most effective course of action, and to decide on important initiatives to ensure the ongoing success of the organization.

As a result of the comprehensive process, we have identified the following priorities for the next three years:

  • Deepen program impact and identify avenues for growth and expansion
  • Increase community awareness about Our House and about issues facing homeless families
  • Increase and diversify financial resources to ensure long-term sustainability
  • Enhance data processes to more effectively track, measure and report program success

We want to thank you for your support as we continue on this journey.  Because of your continued giving, Our House has been able to expand our facilities, double the number of children and families we serve, increase staff capacity from a team of 14 to 24, and start an endowment to ensure the long-term sustainability of our programs and services.

We look forward to keeping you informed about our progress as we move into our 25thanniversary year of service to Metro Atlanta’s homeless children and families.

Our House Earns NAEYC Reaccreditation!

Our House, Inc., a non profit charitable organization helping homeless families with young children in the Metro Atlanta area get back on their feet, proudly announces that its Early Childhood Education (ECE) Center has successfully achieved NAEYC reaccreditation.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the leading organization for those working with and on behalf of children from birth through age 8 in the United States. NAEYC sets and monitors standards for high-quality early childhood education programs and accredits programs that meet these standards.

To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Our House went through an extensive renewal process, providing evidence of our ECE’s program compliance with the ten NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards, as well as compliance with over 400 Accreditation Criteria. The process concluded with a comprehensive site visit conducted by NAEYC Assessors who observed ECE programs in action, reviewed renewal material, interviewed teachers and administrators, and conducted a thorough indoor/outdoor assessment of our ECE facilities. In addition, as a NAEYC accredited site, Our House will be subject to unannounced visits during the five-year period of accreditation.

Our House is proud to report that we met 100% of each of the ten NAEYC Program Standard Criteria. We met all of the NAEYC Candidacy Requirements; and our classrooms met an average of over 98% of the criteria Assessors evaluated during the onsite observations.

Nationally, only 8% of early childhood education centers earn NAEYC accreditation. In Georgia, only 4% of early childhood education centers are NAEYC accredited. Our House first earned NAEYC Accreditation in 1995 and has successfully maintained the distinction ever since. Today, Our House is the only NAEYC accredited childcare center primarily serving homeless children and families from throughout Metro Atlanta.

Our ECE program provides free childcare and early childhood education to Atlanta-Decatur homeless children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. Our House is a childcare assistance and homeless support center which operates year-round, Monday – Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, and serves a maximum of 81 children each day giving women the opportunity to look for jobs and housing. All children receive periodic health check-ups, required immunizations, and nutritious meals and snacks. Program activities are designed to nurture children’s physical, cognitive, language and socio-emotional development. The goal of the Our House ECE program is to help children in Atlanta and Decatur be prepared for academic and social success in kindergarten and beyond.

Our House looks forward to maintaining the high standards set forth by NAEYC in delivering a quality early education to the homeless children of Metro Atlanta.

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