What We Do
The BLESS Coalition has identified four key areas of investment in its efforts to improve the lives of people in the community. These areas include basic needs, education, employment, and housing. By focusing on these critical aspects of people's lives, the coalition aims to make a meaningful impact and help individuals and families thrive.
Our initial efforts focus on providing basic needs to those we serve. We are currently providing or partnering with several programs that provide clothing, food, toiletries and home cleaning products on a monthly basis. We also fund small home improvement projects each month. There are two large annual serve days at Christmas and in the Spring in which we work on larger projects and provide kids with gifts, food, clothing and healthcare screenings. We are working to provide families with basic necessities so that they can begin to focus on moving forward.
The cycle of generational poverty begins very early. Our mission is to attack some of these issues by bringing mentoring and reading programs to elementary age children as well as provide pre-natal and parenting classes for young moms. For adults we also work to provide access to GED training and testing and other adult learning opportunities. We know children cannot thrive when they are struggling to survive. If they are concerned about where they will sleep at night or where their next meal is coming from, learning is not a priority.
We work with partner agencies such as the Allatoona Resource Center, Chattahoochee Technical College, Goodwill, and others to provide job training, resume building, job fairs, and other opportunities to get people back to work or into a higher paying job. Getting individuals and families to self sufficiency is the primary goal.
In our initial target area of Allatoona, 45% of the homes, most of them being mobile homes, are valued at less than $50,000 while 18.4% are valued at less than $25,000. Many of these homes are not up to code and require massive repairs. Some live without water or electricity until our Build Team can step in and help out. Despite all this, average rent in the region is $772 a month. The BLESS Coalition is working towards being able to provide a temporary housing program as well as other housing solutions that will help these families escape this financial burden and have better access to safe and affordable housing.