Not long after the mom and her three kids moved into a hotel in Southwest Atlanta, they received some terrible news.
“We had put everything that we owned into a trailer because our landlord had chosen not to renew our lease,” she explained. “That trailer was stolen two weeks after we moved into the hotel.”
After nearly five months of homelessness starting in late 2020, the mom and her kids ages 16, 10 and 9 finally found a house in Cobb County. They had nothing to put in it. “We had a couple of bags of clothes to our name,” she said.
That’s when a caseworker at Hope Atlanta, which combats homelessness and hunger, told the family about Simple Needs GA.
The first step was for the mom to talk with our volunteer Stacy McIlwain, who went through a checklist of the types of items SNGA could provide. “We ask our clients if they need silverware, plates, pillowcases, towels—it’s a long list of small kitchen, bed and bath items that we have been adding to for years,” Stacy explained. “It enables us to identify what these families need.”
As she listened to Stacy go over the list, the mom was moved to tears when she realized just how much SNGA could help her family. She also felt supported and respected, she said.
“I have never been through a situation like that, and Stacy made it seem like it’s okay—that people need help sometimes,” she said. “Stacy didn’t make me feel bad about it. She was like ‘Don’t cry; we have these things, and they’re here for you. We just need to know if you need them.’”
On February 12, a team of SNGA volunteers arrived at the mom’s house with a truck full of furniture. “We got a fantastic dining room table set—solid wood, with a leaf and chairs—and everyone got a bed and a bedframe,” the mom said. “The sofa and loveseat were in great shape—stain- and smoke-free. It was fantastic.”
When SNGA works with families, our volunteers also look for opportunities to serve the kids through our My Birthday Matters program. In this case, all the children received birthday packages, including specially requested items like Fortnite cards and Littlest Pet Shop toys.
“No one has helped me this much before,” the mom said. “Simple Needs GA even saw to the needs of all of my children. It was like they didn’t even feel that all of this bad stuff had happened to them. I told my family and my friends about the level of detail and care. For example, I have never even owned a kitchen funnel set, but you had one for me.”
Now the family’s new house feels like a home. “You have been a blessing to my family,” she said, “Simple Needs GA is definitely making an impact in the community.”
NOTE: More information on our furniture program can be found here.