The 1300: Atlanta’s Beloved Inspired Community Catching The Hearts of Many
Intro by John Ahmann: If you are on a tall building and happen for a moment to wonder about the law of gravity as you watch a beautiful bird soar, just release an apple from the top to be reminded that the law very much exists. If you wonder whether “the more we the more I can get done” is true, look to the leadership of Bruce Deel, founder and CEO of The City of Refuge, for observable empirical evidence. Bruce has been demonstrating the power of “we” for over 20 years and last week he led a ground breaking on a new affordable apartment community across the street from City of Refuge. Please read this week’s column by Britt Gray, City of Refuge & Britni Johnson, The Wilbert Group to learn more about The 1300 and how it supports the mission of the City of Refuge.
Written by: Britt Gray, City of Refuge & Britni Johnson, The Wilbert Group
“A lot of things will catch your eye, but there are not a lot of things that will catch your heart,” said Mark Toro, City of Refuge board member and managing partner of North American Properties (NAP) Atlanta, Thursday at the organization’s groundbreaking ceremony of a new apartment community – The 1300. The 1300 is nearly a 60,000-square-foot apartment community right outside the gates of City of Refuge, a local nonprofit on the Westside dedicated to improving the surrounding neighborhood through a multitude of vocational training programs, healthcare, childcare and more. Its address, 1300 Mayson Turner, will offer new housing for students enrolled in the vocational training programs will be provided at no cost while recent graduates and residents transitioning out of transitional housing will be offered residency at a discounted rate as they transition and journey into the workforce.
The City of Refuge was founded in 1997 to assist homeless women and children in transition by providing a safe haven. The organization offers housing, support, and resources to victims of sex trafficking in House of Cherith, and mothers with children and single women in Eden Village. Nearly half of the residents in the 30314 neighborhood, where 60 percent of murders in Atlanta happen and where you will find the 5th most violent block in the U.S., are living below the poverty line or considered a low-income family.
Founder and CEO, Bruce Deel, was excited to announce City of Refuge’s plans to contribute to the development of the Westside, by providing sustainable “viable housing with dignity.” NAP plans to break ground on the apartment community this fall and expects to deliver in Summer 2019. For this extremely critical housing need, NAP has recruited top Atlanta-based design and construction firms, including Dwell Design Studio as the lead architect, Tuckercraft, Inc. as the general contractor, Summit Engineering Consultant, Inc. as the civil engineer, Crosby Design Group as the interior designer, United Consulting for environmental/geotechnical testing, and Roy Mitchell with Permit Consultants, Ltd as the lead for permitting.
The 47-unit complex will be comprised of a mix of two-bedroom-two-bath and three-bedroom-two-bath apartments ranging from 932 square feet to 1,153 square feet. The residential piece will be the first freestanding offsite multifamily building at City of Refuge and will predominantly serve the housing needs of students in educational programs at the newly opened Workforce Innovation Hub, a component of the nonprofit that provides opportunities for sustainable career transformation by integrating vocational training, mentoring and job placement.
Richard Cox, COO of City of Atlanta, also attended and closed the groundbreaking ceremony stating, “Affordable housing is priority for our Mayor and there is no other project that epitomizes what this means to our community than The 1300.” The collective goal of the Westside is to find housing solutions for the city to grow without displacing lower-income residents and The 1300 will offer just that.
To continue the celebration, City of Refuge hosted its annual fall event The Gathering Thursday evening sharing news of the new apartment community with over 450 guests and volunteers. The event showcased first-hand stories of life transformation shared by corporate partners, graduates, volunteers, and staff and garnered over $1 million in pledges from supporters during the event to help build and furnish the new beloved, inspired community right outside their gates.
The night also allowed supporters to take part in an immersive tour experience visiting four of City of Refuge’s core programs: NAPA auto training, the Workforce Innovation Hub, Eden Village (housing), and House of Cherith, its anti-trafficking effort. City of Refuge ambassadors and board members – Mark Toro; Doug Keim, senior vice president of Client Experience for Manheim, Cox Automotive; Rodney Bullard, Vice President of Community Affairs for Chick-fil-A, Inc. and Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation; and Bob Patton, Americas Vice Chair of Accounts at Ernst & Young (EY) LLP, who recently joined the board in September – led tour groups, along with supporters from Accenture, Elavon, and Genuine Parts Company.
With Bob Patton’s influence, EY played a major role in ideation of this year’s Gathering experience, offering a creative team and in-kind resources, to help with the launch of the event’s campaign and theme – #wearecor. This campaign is all about the individuals who transform themselves and those whom the organization relies on for their time, talent, and treasure to deliver on City of Refuge’s mission; the fuel behind the light, hope, and transformational spirit of City of Refuge. Playing a vital role in someone’s transformation to a higher state of grace takes more than charity and good intentions. It takes work, love, and faith from the community in order to empower the will to be transformed. City of Refuge plans to continue to build and spread the #wearecor message throughout the Atlanta community and beyond.
Consider supporting City of Refuge on Giving Tuesday and Georgia Gives Day on November 27, 2018. To learn more about happenings or how to get involved at City of Refuge, visit cityofrefuge.org or follow the organization on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
To view highlights from the groundbreaking, click the link: