The West End Family Life and Community Center is an IRS 501(C)3 Non-profit Charitable Corporation that operates at 1191 Donnelly Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30310. The facility is owned by West End Seventh-day Adventist Church – South Atlantic Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This nonprofit charitable organization consists of a Board of Directors that is sponsored by the West End Seventh-day Adventist Church located at 845 Lawton Street, Atlanta, Georgia 30310. |
Our vision is to expand our existing programs for senior citizens and at-risk youth which would include increased resources and daily activities. Currently, the WE Center facilitates the S.A.L.T. Program (Seasoned Adults Living Triumphantly) which provides daily opportunities for seniors of the West End Community to lead active meaningful lives. We would like to increase our services to seventy-five (75) seniors and provide additional resources to expand the current daily activities including: board games, exercise equipment, chairs, book shelves, Bibles, upgraded computers, two seventeen-passenger vans and fuel cards to pick up disabled seniors who are unable to take advantage of our services as well as stipends for S.A.L.T. Program volunteer staff. For at-risk youth in the West End Community, the WE Center would like to expand programming to incorporate a daily After-School Program that would accommodate 150 elementary school-age children and a Summer Camp Program that would accommodate 200 elementary school-aged who are deeply impacted by disadvantaged social factors: gangs, violence, single-parent households, failing schools, and a deteriorating community infrastructure.
UNDERSTANDING OUR TARGET DEMOGRAPHICS
In order to fulfill our mission, the Board of Directors of the WE Center had to understand the nature of our community. The history of the West End community since the mid-twentieth century has been one of struggle and determination. The community is a historic enclave nestled in the shadows of Atlanta, the ninth largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 5.5 million people. And in this “city too busy to hate,” a reference to Atlanta’s eventual rise above legal racism, segregation, discrimination, and economic oppression after the Civil Rights Movement, there are tens of thousands of people who live in the midst of despair and hopelessness.
Today, the West End Community is rife with social decay that is evident to any passerby: vacant and abandoned properties and homes, brownfields, food insecurity, high unemployment rates, crime, low-income and fragmented families, high rates of teen pregnancy, increased high school dropout rates among African American males, increased school closures, rampant drug use (crack cocaine, heroine, methamphetamines), and increased diagnosis of HIV/AIDS transmissions. The symptoms of this community are evident on the types of billboards that plague each street. And, situated in the heart of this demographic of poverty is the West End Seventh-day Adventist Church. (Saltelmajer and Williams, “Called: Core Qualities for Ministry, “Community Engagement: Fulfilling the Mission BY Calvin Preston,” p84. Pacific Press, 2015)
IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEMS
The 2010 Census Data indicates that within the five mile radius West End SDA Church, there are approximately 26,912 residents in the West End Community. Of this total population, the following data breaks out the percentages per established age groups: Additionally, the Census data indicated that more than 90% of our target population in the West End Community live in poverty. The mean per-household-income for this community is less that $22,000 per year for a family of four. A majority African American racial composition, many households are headed by a single parent who is female. Many homes have a parent who has only completed high school.
•28% At-Risk Youth (0-18 years)
•28% Young Adults (19-37 years)
•27% Middle Age (38-55 years)
•17% Seniors (55+ years)