Charis Community Housing Announces New Strategic Plan

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Community Organization Focuses on Future with Transition of GlenCastle Apartments ATLANTA - (May 22, 2014) – Charis Community Housing and FCS Urban Ministries today announced a strategic plan that will transition these partner organizations from their current headquarters in Grant Park to a new location, yet to be determined, closer to their focus neighborhood of South Atlanta.   Charis Community Housing, a division of FCS Urban Ministries, works to develop wholesome, viable, self-sustaining, mixed-income housing using its nationally recognized model for social and spiritual vitality as well as economic viability.

Charis partners with businesses, churches, county agencies and residents to draft, implement, empower, monitor and track results of a master housing redevelopment plan that focuses on home ownership, intentional neighboring, and strategic partnering. Over the past 30 years, Charis has served the communities of Grant Park, Ormewood Park, Summerhill, East Lake, and South Atlanta.  Charis has also served as the operator of GlenCastle apartments, a 67-unit transitional apartment complex on the GlenCastle campus where Charis has its corporate offices alongside FCS Urban Ministries.  The move from their corporate offices in Grant Park will require the closure of this historic building that has served families of low income for nearly 25 years.

FCS and Charis have a long history of working in under-served neighborhoods and continue to strategically pursue their mission of creating healthy places in the city where families flourish and God’s peace is present.  However, this mission does not include a major funding campaign to redevelop a campus in a neighborhood that is no longer under-served.  “GlenCastle Apartments have had a great run of almost 25 years since we first rehabbed the building and opened it for residents as a transitional housing ministry,” said Jim Wehner – president, FCS Urban Ministries.  “In that time there have been hundreds of families that have made successful transitions. Now, 25 years later, as the time has come for a major overhaul of systems and structure, Charis has recognized that there are other affordable housing providers in the industry that are better qualified to take GlenCastle into its next phase.  Both FCS and Charis are hopeful that an affordable housing developer will be interested in re-visioning the GlenCastle Campus including the apartments to better serve the neighborhood.”  Charis will continue to pursue affordable housing and homeownership alongside of FCS in the neighborhoods that we serve together.

In 1987, volunteers and community leaders transformed GlenCastle, originally The Atlanta Stockade, 58 years after the stone fortress was set to be torn down. Since its inception, hundreds of GlenCastle residents have proactively and successfully transitioned themselves and their families into long-term housing solutions, utilizing the lessons and support from Charis’ ministry program.

Charis Community Housing is reimbursing each resident’s final month’s rent with a check advance to their new apartment, along with providing moving products and equipment, as well as ongoing programs to ensure every resident has opportunity for success. A team of case managers is also working full-time offering assistance and support to all residents, whom Charis plans to have transitioned by the end of August.

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About Charis Community Housing:

For nearly 30 years, Charis Community Housing (Charis) has been partnering with disenfranchised neighborhoods in southeast Atlanta to provide innovative community development by igniting economic and social rebirth.  Charis’ goal is to reweave the fabric of community by:

  • Creating a comprehensive redevelopment master plan for the revitalization of the community.
  • Developing a healthy mixed-income housing strategy that ignites community economics.
  • Organizing and coordinating social, economic, spiritual, and educational initiatives that support a safe, attractive and economically viable community.
  • Fostering the social and economic benefits that arise from the redemptive development of real estate.

The hallmarks of Charis’s approach are empowering individual residents to take back control of their streets.  By focusing rebuilding efforts in one concentrated area at a time, neighbors are able to organize effective neighborhood watches, deter criminal activity and secure their community block-by-block.  To date, Charis has sparked the revitalization of Grant Park, Ormewood Park, Summerhill, East Lake and the historic neighborhood of South Atlanta. For more information: http://chariscommunity.org/.

 About FCS Urban Ministries:

The mission of FCS Urban Ministries (FCS) is to create healthy places in the city where families flourish and God’s peace is present. FCS is a collective of visionaries and social entrepreneurs, transforming distressed urban neighborhoods through innovative and holistic Christian community development. For more than 30 years, FCS has demonstrated that the most transformative urban ministry is community-based. With an emphasis on neighborhood leadership and a commitment to mixed-income housing development, the FCS strategy yields both social and spiritual vitality as well as economic viability. For more information, visit: http://fcsministries.org/.

Media Contact

Elyse Hammett, APR

Vice President, Public Relations

Phase 3 Marketing & Communications for FCS

Office: 404.949.3772

Cell: 404.376.5563

elyse.hammett@phase3mc.com

 

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