Dismas Charities Atlanta Holds ‘Good Neighbor Project’ Benefits Homeless

For nearly a month beginning in mid-December, the Atlanta facility began collecting coats for the community’s homeless population. When staff, residents and other community volunteers dispersed the garments in mid-January, they had collected over 300 garments – more than enough to outfit the 100 homeless citizens who attended the give-away at Covenant Community, Inc., a residential transitional substance abuse program. So many coats were donated that the remainder will be donated for another coat drive in the future. The title of the Good Neighbor Project was selected “because through our Founder, Father William Diersen’s teachings, we understand that it is the responsibility of each of us to uplift our community and act as good neighbors,” said Director Stephen Ricks. In addition to a coat, attendees were offered free travel-size hygiene products, gloves, blankets, hats, free haircuts by current residents and professional barbers Jerome Nalls and Rashaan Garth (1st picture below), and free HIV testing, provided by volunteers from Someone Cares, Inc. A total of 52 haircuts were given. “Several of the participants, felt the haircut and personal maintenance heightened their inner strength and feeling of self-worth,” Ricks added, noting that the Atlanta community has more than 6,000 homeless individuals. Also supporting the event by making sizable contributions were Rappers T.I. and Gotti. Rapper T.I., who has produced a puppet show that features issues in the African American household, sent his puppets to the event to deliver his coats. In addition to the coats, Rapper Gotti brought pizza and drinks to the drive’s beneficiaries. Also volunteering were members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority (2nd picture below) from Clark Atlanta University. Atlanta Employment Specialist Kadizjah White, a member of the sorority, encouraged them to volunteer. To promote the event, Director Ricks and other members of his staff were featured on four local radio stations.

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