Ending Homelessness

By on Dec 7, 2021 in Giving

When is tee time more than the start of something fun? When the sport helps to end the cycle of situational homelessness. Yardi is a proud co-sponsor of the Shelters to Shutters (S2S) Atlanta Topgolf Invitational. The fundraising event gives hardworking individuals the opportunity to rebuild their lives in the safety of their homes.

Homelessness in Atlanta

Approximately 3,200 individuals experience housing insecurity within Atlanta city limits. They are a fraction of Georgia’s 10,300 people without a residential address.

Though the Department of Community Affairs hosts programs such as the State of Georgia Rental Assistance Program and several mortgage assistance programs, residents fall through the gaps in the system. Gaps in coverage are exacerbate job insecurity, health and safety issues.

Shelters to Shutters fills those gaps. The nonprofit has implemented a model that helps those in need obtain housing and employment in a sustainable manner.

Shelters to Shutters

Situational homelessness is housing insecurity that has occurred within the last three years and is not the result of chronic mental illness or drug abuse. S2S offers Atlantans a pathway from situational homelessness to economic independence through full-time employment and housing opportunities. It is a “hand up, not a hand out” approach to ending situational homelessness in the metro area.

S2S receives nominations through partner programs. Nominees are reviewed before being placed with volunteers who help them refine their resumes and develop interview skills. Once employed with an industry housing partner, the nominee is placed in on-premises housing with a 70% discounted rent for the first year. The unit is equipped with the basic furniture needed to make an apartment feel like home. Nominees may also pair up with a volunteer financial advisor and mentor who helps them set a budget, repair their credit and set long term goals.

Employment through S2S results in an average minimum wage of $15.50, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Employees receive a full benefits package that includes medical and paid holidays. There are also opportunities for career development: maintenance technicians are in high demand. S2S funds the Certificate for Apartment Maintenance Technicians (CAMT) for interested nominees.

More than 70% of job placements through S2S result in a subsequent promotion.

To date, the nonprofit has assisted more than 360 individuals in their journey towards housing security. The success rate of the program is demonstrable. About 93% of participants have not re-entered services for the housing insecure.

About Topgolf Invitational

On Nov 18, Topgolf Pro in Atlanta hosted a two-hour, invitation-only tournament. Proceeds from the event support the transition program at S2S. About 120 participants including several Yardi employees enjoyed a golf challenge, raffle, silent auction, dinner buffet and networking opportunities.  

The organization successfully raised more than $40,000 for S2S. The funds support the organization’s goal to expand services in 2022. This year, S2S assisted 50 individuals with employment and housing placement. Next year, the organization aims to assist at least 60 individuals.

Supporting S2S

April Cline, executive direct for S2S Atlanta, says, “If it is not addressed, situational homelessness can lead to long-term homelessness which places people at higher risk for substance abuse, exposure to dangerous situations and three-times the risk of getting COVID. We aim to stop the cycle before it starts.”

Want to help end the cycle of situational homelessness? S2S is actively seeking volunteers to assist with resume writing, mock interviews, basic financial advice and mentorship. Please email [email protected] to get started. In-person and virtual opportunities are available.

Yardi is Energized for Good! Read more about Yardi’s philanthropic outreach on our Giving Page.