With the Cathedral Antiques Show and Tour of Homes in Buckhead selecting Crossroads as its beneficiary this year, Dawson is hoping the proceeds from the event will help even more mothers and children.
“The Cathedral Antiques Show is going to help us to strengthen [our housing assistance program] in fashions we never dreamed possible before, and more importantly, it’s going to absolutely end homelessness for mothers and some children,” he said.
Peggy Ballard, a spokeswoman for the event, said the general goal is to raise $150,000 for the beneficiary that is selected each year, but that figure is often surpassed.
“Last year we raised $285,000 for Refugee Family Services,” she said. “The year before, it was actually a little bit more.”
The housing assistance program for women and children is just one of the services Crossroads provides for the homeless in metro Atlanta. The nonprofit also serves hot meals six days a week, assists chronically homeless and disabled men with housing, provides clients with a permanent address and helps individuals acquire their birth certificates and Georgia state identification cards, which are essential in ending homelessness, Dawson said.
“Without legal ID, you cannot be employed by any kind of a reputable company. You cannot get housing in any sort of reputable housing. You cannot even get your prescription meds,” he said.
Overall, Crossroads served 3,901 individuals last year, he said.
“[We have] a remarkable staff,” Dawson said. “Half my staff are former homeless people.”
Administrative assistant Irene Rice, who found herself homeless last year after her business failed, came to Crossroads in November as a client before joining the staff a month later.
“It’s funny because I had submitted my resume to Crossroads before I became homeless,” she said.
Rice said she stayed at an emergency homeless shelter for two weeks before coming to Crossroads.
“I became one of their clients and one day I noticed that there was an opportunity for me to offer my assistance,” she said.
Rice said she taps into her personal experience when assisting clients.
“It’s shocking for them when I tell them that I was just homeless like a month ago,” she said.
“They can’t believe it, and I tell them that they can definitely redirect their lives and put together all the pieces.”
Information: visit www.crossroadsatlanta.org
Click here for Everett Catts' article on the Cathedral Antiques Show & Tour of Homes.