The Episcopal Church has made huge waves in media headlines as well as religious circles with its full on support of the gay community this year. The Episcopalians are showing religious leadership by giving the gay community its own blessing so that committed gay couples can feel the divine union of God’s love. But, this is not the only way the Episcopal Church bestows its blessings onto the world. This particular denomination of folks have a big heart and true calling to be there for others that find it hard to be there for themselves. Today we put the spotlight on the Emmaus House in Atlanta and how they help all but gives hope to a lot of Atlanta’s gay homeless.
The Emmaus House is not a homeless shelter but they do not turn anyone away. You are greeted with love and understanding when you walk in the door. That is something a gay homeless youth could use after being used and abused out on the streets of Atlanta. Before we get into anything specific here is the mission statement of this great organization and what you can expect from these fine people.
Emmaus House is a center for community life on the corner of Hank Aaron Drive and Haygood Avenue in the Peoplestown neighborhood just south of Turner Field. Founded by the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Emmaus House offers over 150,000 hours of direct service in programs for youth, adults, seniors and families each year.
In April 2012, Emmaus House set forth a vision and developed a plan for the next 5 years to sharpen the focus of our work with our neighbors in Peoplestown. Our new vision and plan are summarized below.
Vision: A vibrant neighborhood for all residents.
Mission: Grounded in the Episcopal tradition, Emmaus House provides education, opportunity, assistance, and advocacy in partnership with our neighbors in Peoplestown.
Promote economic sufficiency and stability for our neighbors.
Fosters the growth and development of our neighborhood’s children and youth.
Engage and support partnerships with organizations both in our neighborhood and outside which can further enhance the well being of our neighbors.
Raise or acquire at least $750,000 in annual funding to support its activities.
Recruit, retain, and develop staff, interns, volunteers, and advisory board members who can deliver the mission.
As you can see this organization has a vision. People in this collective wish to better the lives of everyone they touch. It was not long ago the story of a gay homeless man walking into the doors of the Emmaus House touched the hearts of the Atlanta community. Not knowing what to do and hungry this man needed to make his way back home but had no money. The Emmaus House did not hesitate to pull money from their own pockets to buy a bus ticket to help this unknown homeless gay man that was in need.
When you have the calling to help people it is stories of hope that renews your faith in the power of humanity. Even if you are not from any religious background you can’t deny that what goes around comes around and the Emmaus House definitely believes in paying it forward.
The gay community should help the Emmaus House any way possible and it deserves the full support of Atlanta’s LGBTQ. The Episcopal Church has a vision and the LGBTQ can be a huge part of that vision coming true. The Emmaus House and the Episcopal Church supports Atlanta’s gay community and we need to show support by showing our loyalty.