The Problem: People interact with the homeless, typically in a transactional way. There are few opportunities for a family to interact with the homeless. The Program: Jim Ellison, Executive Director and the rest of the Restoration ATL team want to give Atlanta families an opportunity for transformation, not just transaction. Teaming with City of Refuge, they offer a weekend spiritual retreats for families from the suburbs and homeless women. It is the only program where the whole family can ‘be with’ not just ‘do for’ the residents of City of Refuge. Accomplishments: Restoration ATL started in March 2013, they held 12 weekends in 2013, expect 49 in 2014, and are already booking weekends for 2015. The Restoration ATL Secret Sauce of Success:
- Unique Niche… no one else offers it.
- Meets an emerging need in local churches for members to use their lives to make a difference
- Leveraged his past connections and relationships
- Focus on just one thing, a new model of urban ministry with laserlike focus
- “The ministry summary is an outstanding concept that forces focus and clarity”
- The Fundraising training and the board development and recruitment training
- “The relationships I have developed have been a gift”