by Jim Wehner
The GlenCastle campus, our FCS home for more than 30 years, is an amazing story of transformation. This century-old building served as an Atlanta’s prison for decades before FCS transformed it in the 80’s. Since then, it’s been a space of ministry to families in need of housing, a place for children in our youth development programs, the starting point for schools and small businesses, and a connection for other nonprofits needing inexpensive shared office space. Even now, when we are in the final stages of relocating, it’s almost difficult to imagine it as something else. How do you ignore such a stirring story of restoration as that of a former prison becoming a campus full of life and vibrancy?
At a staff lunch a few months ago, I recognized some of our team wrestling with the relocation. Some were lamenting leaving the campus’ rich history, while others were more excited about the upcoming adventures. It can certainly be a bittersweet experience. When they asked me what I thought about the move, I had to admit I couldn’t wait!
I am extremely focused on our organizational mission. And the campus, though important to our history, does not represent the future of FCS. Of course, I must confess the expensive upkeep and operation of the 110-year old buildings has influenced my view of the campus. But the fact remains I am energized about positioning our offices in Historic South Atlanta, the community where we have been active for almost fifteen years.
Our work in mixed-income housing, economic development, and neighborhood engagement all happen in this community, and our staff wants to be in the neighborhood! So next time you visit Carver Neighborhood Market or Community Grounds Cafe, you will be able to visit our offices from the same parking lot.
And the story of transformation does not end, but continues in fresh ways. Grant Park, the neighborhood home of GlenCastle, will benefit from our relocation. Our former campus is under contract for sale to a developer that brings the needed expertise to restore the historical buildings and bring new life to the property.
And in our South Atlanta neighborhood, proceeds from the sale will enable FCS to make a significant investment in our community. This journey fits squarely in the middle of our mission to partner with underserved neighborhoods in Atlanta by providing innovative and holistic development that produces flourishing neighborhoods where God's Shalom is present. Our mission remains the same, and I expect our new space will continue to be a place that ministers to families and youth, supports education and businesses, and helps other nonprofits grow.
Come see us at our new address!