Solomon’s Temple is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of homelessness by empowering women and their children to overcome life’s challenges, realize their potential, define their own destiny and become vital factors in the revitalization and sustainability of their community. Previously known as Springdale Place and operated by Fulton County, Solomon’s Temple offers 130 residential facility for homeless women and their children. Located in metro Atlanta on 1 acre of park space which includes a playground, a basketball court, a gazebo and walking trails, it offers families in transition a peaceful setting to move toward stability.
For years I had been thinking about how I could be a part of the solution of assisting with reducing the growing reality of homelessness in our community. As a native of Atlanta I was constantly reminded of the suffering of so many who were living on the streets. Regular people just like you and I who for a variety of reasons found themselves without a safe place to call home. The reality, I found, is that there is simply not enough safe shelters available to assist women with children in getting back on their feet when they fall down. Imagine the toll it takes on the human spirit to be on the streets with your children and no place to call home. Women with children are especially vulnerable to homelessness. Many of whom are not able to get or maintain jobs because they have young children with no childcare.
According to homeless census data estimated, more than 10,000 people in metro Atlanta experience homelessness on any given night, with more than 40 percent being women and children. According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (GDCA), more than 75,000 Georgians are homeless at some time during the year. According to The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH), more than 58,000 children in Georgia are homeless.
The reality is there is simply not enough emergency and transitional supportive housing to meet the demand. As a board member of the Atlanta Homeless Continuum-of-care I know all too well the devastating impact that homelessness has in our community.
In May 2014 through a partnership with Fulton County and Invest Atlanta, I was able to realize my dream to become a part of the solution as Solomon’s Temple opened its’ doors. My vision for Solomon’s Temple is to create a safe haven for vulnerable women with their children who are struggling to move from homelessness to stability. I believe by working cooperatively we can ensure that no woman is left on the streets with her children.
~ S. Smallwood