The Welcome Home House
PRUMC and City of Refuge Announce the First Welcome Home House for Incarcerated Women Reentering Society in Metro Atlanta
Built by Atlanta Habitat, the Welcome Home House ensures women have a safe, stable homecoming and a place to heal.
Peachtree Road United Methodist Church (PRUMC), a caring faith community located in Buckhead, and City of Refuge (COR), a faith-based organization based in Atlanta’s Westside, announced today the opening of their first Welcome Home House, a supportive, transitional house for women reentering society from prison. Atlanta Habitat for Humanity (Atlanta Habitat), one of the city’s leading affordable housing builders, constructed the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house located on Atlanta’s Westside.
A collaboration between PRUMC and COR, the Welcome Home House program seeks to build safe, stable housing for women returning to society from prison, allowing them to reach their full potential. Residents of the Welcome Home House will be part of the COR community with full access to its range of services, including trauma counseling, job training and family reunification support. The house is dedicated in honor of Chaplain Susan Bishop, who served more than 40 years as a Chaplain in the Georgia Department of Corrections.
One of the most significant barriers that formerly incarcerated people face is securing affordable housing. Per the Prison Policy Initiative, formerly incarcerated people are almost ten times more likely to be homeless than the general public. And of the formerly incarcerated, women were more than 70% more likely to be homeless than men. (Nowhere to Go: Homelessness among formerly incarcerated people, Prison Policy Initiative, August 2018)
“Lack of housing is a significant recidivism risk for the formerly incarcerated, and especially so for women who are typically dealing with a background of abuse and poverty and have less reentry beds available to them,” said Beth Spencer, director of local outreach for PRUMC.
“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at COR and Atlanta Habitat to make this first house a reality and to support the life-changing work of both organizations. We would like to thank our donors and the individuals who believed this dream was possible,” said Spencer.
“At the COR Reentry Hub, we focus on providing key programs and services to help people thrive in their lives outside of prison,” said Greg Washington, COR’s reentry and family reunification executive director. “Stable housing is foundational in that effort, so it’s special to expand on our more than 20-year partnership with PRUMC to build transitional housing for women. Their continued contributions make a lasting impact on the lives of the people we serve.”
“The Welcome Home House is a unique undertaking for Atlanta Habitat and we are honored to construct a home serving as a springboard to a new life for these women,” stated Rosalyn Merrick, Atlanta Habitat’s executive vice president & COO. “Our involvement is an extension of our nearly 40-year relationship with PRUMC, during which 53 Atlanta Habitat houses have been built. We are proud to work with these two wonderful organizations.”
About Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
Located in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church helps people find peace and purpose within a Christian community. All, regardless of age, orientation, income, politics, color, or creed, are welcome to join in the worship of God, the fellowship of this community, and the ministry of outreach. Learn more at prumc.org.
The Welcome Home House program is part of the Restoration Partners Prison Ministry at PRUMC. For more than 20 years, PRUMC’s prison ministry has supported incarcerated individuals through both fellowship and resources. Learn more here.
About City of Refuge
A faith-based organization founded in 1997 on Atlanta’s Westside, City of Refuge helps individuals and families transition out of crisis. Learn more at cityofrefugeatl.org.
About Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity transforms communities through neighborhood revitalization, education, innovative development, and partnerships. As one of Habitat for Humanity International’s largest affiliates, Atlanta Habitat has made an estimated $40 million impact on affordable housing in neighborhoods across Atlanta and South Fulton County over the last five years. Since its launch in 1983, the nonprofit affordable home developer has served over 2,400 families (more than 6,000 individuals) with its first-time home purchase, rehab and critical home repair services and education programs. Visit www.atlantahabitat.org.
Welcome Home House Ribbon Cutting and Dedication
Sunday, August 27, 2023