by Jim Wehner
This year we’ve celebrated the forty years that FCS has been partnering with communities to establish affordable housing, create local businesses, and engage neighbors in authentic, community-building programs. We recognized the leadership and legacy of our founder Bob Lupton and honored the ways his ideas to reimagine charity have impacted hundreds of other churches and organizations.
As the lights twinkled and the glasses clinked during our Block Party celebration, I stood in awe of the neighbors, supporters, and friends that have walked alongside FCS for over four decades. Images of past projects and future dreams covered the walls. It’s true that the community development work we’ve done so far has been established together - with the neighbors who invited us to participate, the donors who’ve sustained our work, and the staff who’ve rolled up their sleeves and jumped into the projects.
Since its founding, FCS has produced over 400 units of affordable housing for ownership and rental, created a dozen small businesses that bring needed goods and services to neighborhoods as well as many jobs and employment training opportunities. We’ve established social service and youth programs, taught hundreds of churches and non-profit organizations about neighborhood-based development and responsible charity, and incubated innovative organizations that are creating change around our city. It’s been a true joy to celebrate together with all those who’ve championed and contributed to these initiatives.
As 2018 comes to a close, I am eager to look ahead towards the next forty years, the next 400 affordable housing units, the future businesses, and so much more. Exciting, innovative projects are already underway. We’ve purchased a vacant gas station and have plans to reestablish a sit-down eatery where families and neighbors can share a delicious meal. We’ve got new homes under construction popping up around the neighborhood, and neighbors are eager to see who will move onto the block. Our community room is already scheduled to host local entrepreneurs growing their businesses, members of the neighborhood food co-op gathering and sharing fresh vegetables, and what is sure to be another dynamic Pride for Parents Toy Store.
I look ahead to 2019 and am excited to establish new initiatives together. I know our next season of projects will also bring along new partners, activate new supporters, and engage new neighbors. I can’t wait! Will you invest with us for 2019? Your generous support sustains our ongoing work and establishes an equitable, mixed-income South Atlanta. Join us as we close one year and enter another, knowing we are looking to a future where we will come together and celebrate what we establish together.