According to Decatur Cooperative Ministry’s (DCM) Executive Director Marlene White, the face of homelessness is not what you might expect. Among those seeking DCM’s help include individuals with advanced degrees and good jobs.
“The problem is that families who find themselves without housing in this economy have such a difficult time because there are challenges to getting a living wage and there are challenges to identifying affordable housing,” says White, whose organization works to alleviate the problems of homelessness in the City of Decatur and in DeKalb County.
Founded in 1969, DCM has been serving local residents for nearly 50 years.
The organization offers several different housing and prevention programs all along the continuum of homeless service. Its main programs include:
• A transitional housing program, providing housing and supportive services to move families from homelessness to self-reliance in six months.
• An emergency shelter and assessment center, providing up to 90 days of night shelter for families with children.
• A homelessness prevention program providing emergency assistance (in the form of rent/mortgage and utility assistance) to at-risk families, seniors, and veterans in danger of eviction, foreclosure, or disconnection of services.
Combined, DCM’s programs served over 1,500 individuals in 2017.
DCM has been the beneficiary of the Amplify Decatur Concert Series since its inception in 2011. In that time, Amplify has raised over $150,000 for DCM—including a record $40,000 in 2017.
“It’s an honor to do what little we can to support the work of Decatur Cooperative Ministry,” said Amplify My Community board president, Drew Robinson. “They are truly the heroes in our community.”
White wishes to thank this year’s festival attendees. “By joining us at Amplify Decatur, you are making a real difference in people’s lives,” she says. “I see it every day.”
Photo courtesy of Hector Amador