More than 130 people attended the ceremony, with speakers including Jeff Beech, chairman of Light House Village; Mimi Box, executive director of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation; former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin, co-chair of the Regional Commission on Homelessness; Dr. Jeff Meyers, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Conyers; Dan O’Dwyer, president of HomeAid Atlanta; Georgia State Senator Ronald Ramsey, Sr.; and Ron Simpson, president of Phoenix Pass, as well as many of the partners that contributed to the project. The ceremony was emceed by John Pruitt, anchorman for WSB-TV.
Construction began on the Conyers complex last October, led by HomeAid Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that helps homeless service providers, like Phoenix Pass, complete transitional housing construction through donations of labor and materials from members of the local homebuilding industry. Conyers-based builders Manor Homes and Horizon Home Builders served as HomeAid’s builder captains for the project, helping to coordinate and manage the construction process, in addition to securing in-kind donations of labor and materials from more than 50 trade partners in partnership with HomeAid Atlanta. During the dedication ceremony, the participating trade partners were honored for their generous contributions to the project.
“The Phoenix Pass complex fills a critical gap in the housing continuum for the Rockdale County community, providing new housing opportunities that have never before been available to local families in need,” said Ann Carey, executive director of HomeAid Atlanta. “The complex will be an asset to the community for many years to come, and we thank everyone who participated in this project to make it a success.”
In addition to support from members of the homebuilding industry, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation provided HomeAid Atlanta with a generous grant for the Phoenix Pass project, which provided critical gap funding needed for construction. Founded in 2006, The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need One Soul at a Time. Through the funding and creation of programs and partnerships, the Foundation supports innovative community efforts to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
“In today’s economy, strategic partnerships are critical to maximizing available resources in a community. It was HomeAid’s unique model of building partnerships that originally captured our attention,” said Mimi Box, executive director of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. “HomeAid builds partnerships to create cost-effective solutions to a community’s housing needs. This story has even greater potency when you consider today’s economy. Still, we have home builders stepping up to give back to those in greater need in their community.”
The apartment building at Phoenix Pass is EarthCraft-certified, meeting the guidelines of the EarthCraft House green building program. Each single-family apartment unit features a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms and a private bathroom. The lighthouse community center, designed as a resource and opportunity development center for program participants, includes an activity room, meeting room, laundry room, storage area, four restrooms, two kitchenettes and a staff office. A second apartment building, which is also planned to be EarthCraft-certified, is scheduled to be constructed in a future phase.
The Phoenix Pass program is designed to serve the needs of families experiencing temporary homelessness by giving them an opportunity to reestablish self-sufficiency in a residential setting. The focus of the program is to empower these families with supportive services and the resources to recover and rebuild a productive, stable lifestyle for themselves and their family. The complex will provide families with housing for up to two years along with curriculum/community-based education in career advancement, financial planning and budgeting, and guidance in family care and management, to help these families get back on their feet. The complex will eventually accommodate up to 90 program participants at any given time.
HomeAid Atlanta thanks the following partners that contributed products and/or services to the Phoenix Pass project, in partnership with Manor Homes and Horizon Home Builders: 1800Mattress.com, Advantage Fire Sprinkler Co. Inc., Amtico, Atlanta Insulation, Atlanta Kitchen, Atlanta Tile Supply, Best Septic Tank Services Inc., Boral Bricks, Cottage House Interiors, Custom Countertops, Diversified Cabinet Distributors, Doors by Mike, EarthCraft House, Ernst Enterprises of Georgia, Ferguson Enterprises, GE Appliances & Lighting, Georgia Power, Gomez Nazario, Gregg Cowan Heating & Air Inc., Hall’s Trenching, Hays & Hays Electric Inc., Homer Lewis & Associates Inc., James Costley Jr., Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, Jose Leyva, Kasey Mitchell, K.W. Concrete Inc., Lithonia Lighting, Mercy Heart Clinic, Murphy & Murphy Enterprises Inc., Northwest Exterminating, Parksite Inc., Pedro Alvarado, ProBuild, ProCraft Windows, Regional Waste Management Inc., Robert Harvill, Sherwin-Williams, Solve, Sonny Hall Construction, Southland Trim, Still Lumber Company Inc., Stock Building Supply, Total Building Services, Truss Specialties Inc., Universal Ornamental Iron Inc., Walker & Son Construction Co. Inc., White Rock Drywall, William Mascari, and X-Stream Plumbing Inc.
In addition, Phoenix Pass thanks the following partners: First Baptist Church of Conyers, John Wieland Homes Second Mile, Light House Village Inc., North Georgia United Methodist Council on Housing and Homelessness, Rockdale Emergency Relief, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The Woodruff Foundation, United Way of Metro Atlanta, United Way in Rockdale, as well as various community-based groups and individuals in Rockdale County that contributed to the project.
About HomeAid Atlanta:
HomeAid Atlanta is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working in partnership with the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, and is a local chapter of HomeAid America, a leading national provider of transitional housing for the temporarily homeless. The HomeAid mission is to build and maintain dignified housing where homeless families and individuals can rebuild their lives. This is accomplished through the donation of construction services and materials from members of the homebuilding industry. HomeAid Atlanta partners with existing homeless service providers and expands their capacity to serve the homeless by building a new transitional housing facility or renovating an existing facility. For more information about HomeAid Atlanta, visit www.homeaidatlanta.org.
About Phoenix Pass:
Phoenix Pass, Inc. is a nonprofit organization designed as a partnership between First Baptist Church of Conyers and Rockdale Emergency Relief. The mission of Phoenix Pass is to serve the needs of families experiencing temporary homelessness by giving them an opportunity to reestablish self-sufficiency in a residential setting. The focus of the program is to empower homeless families with supportive services and the resources to recover and rebuild a productive, stable lifestyle for themselves and their family. Phoenix Pass operates under the vision that those who have successfully completed the program will remain in the Conyers-Rockdale County area to live, work and contribute back to the community the education, life skills and job skills acquired during their tenure in the program. It is expected that residents will transition from Phoenix Pass back into the community as productive and self-sufficient citizens. For more information about Phoenix Pass, visit www.phoenixpass.org.