The residents of Buckhead’s Darlington Apartments are set to be displaced in less than four weeks. As I have seen firsthand, many of the residents are elderly, infirm, sick or otherwise unable to relocate themselves. There are also young children and working single parents and married couples. Most need assistance from the community.
On Sept. 17, a collection of nonprofit agencies and housing providers gathered in the lobby of the Darlington to meet with residents facing displacement. We saw more than 50 residents, most of whom did not have their next steps ordered. Overwhelmingly, the residents we met are on fixed incomes and do not have savings or the cash on hand to pay for security deposits, first month’s rent or utilities, let alone moving expenses.
Thanks to generous donors, our partner churches and agencies, and experienced emergency assistance staff, we are providing the needed financial support, counseling and referrals for relocation. The situation at the Darlington is dire, so I am calling on the broader Atlanta community to walk alongside of us as we walk alongside these neighbors in crisis. These nonprofits need donations to provide these services, and we will be back on site again this Wednesday, Sept. 26, to deliver these same services.
The broader issue of affordable housing and poverty in Atlanta needs heightened attention by us all. We cannot allow our most vulnerable neighbors to continue to go through crises like this, and never alone. As a city, we must find innovative solutions that are inclusive of those in our community who are low wage earners or struggling to make ends meet. Let’s be a city of light and hope for all.
Each of us is made in God’s image and is deserving of love and support, especially during hard times. When we show compassion and kindness to our neighbors in need we see the very face of God.
President and CEO