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The Atlanta Women’s Foundation Awards $1 Million to Eight Local Nonprofit Organizations

By Kate Balzer
The Atlanta Women’s Foundation (AWF) announces the Breaking Barriers, Building Women: Economic Empowerment Program, which will award a total of $1 million over two years to eight local nonprofit organizations, focusing on higher education and asset building for low-income women in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties. Two of this year’s recipients are Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, awarded $65,000 and Nicholas House, awarded $70,000.
“Stable employment is only one part of the equation to help women achieve lasting economic self-sufficiency. Education and asset-building are key factors as well,” said AWF’s CEO Kari B. Love, “Without assets, women and their families may be able to survive day-to-day, but will not be able to cope with a financial emergency, save for their children, or invest in a better future. With this program, we will be able to change the trajectory of the lives and women and their families.
Funding for Atlanta Habitat will support their efforts to qualify 50 women for Atlanta Habitat homebuyer approval. Program goals will focus on deficiency elimination and expanded homebuyer approval, without application contingencies. Education, coaching and mentoring will also provide opportunities to develop and pursue education and professional goals for sustained social mobility and legacy building. The program will provide a direct response to the growing need to support low income women, who arrive at Atlanta Habitat accompanied by deficiencies that deny them the opportunity to be first-time homebuyers and further limit their opportunity for economic stability and social mobility.
“The Atlanta Women’s Foundation initial grant was a critical investment in the development of the Vision. Goals. Action! program, which focuses on advancing women for social and economic mobility. After having a decent place to live, being able to break the cycle of poverty is a long-term outcome of this program,” says Atlanta Habitat for Humanity President/CEO Lisa Y. Gordon.
Nicholas House is committed to helping families attain three goals: earn a living wage; maintain physical, mental, and social health of parents and children; and maintain their own safe and stable housing long-term. This grant will support their current efforts and expand their program by adding an Income/Employment Navigator to resolve an identified stumbling block for mothers–the inability to find meaningful employment with growth potential. The position will provide individualized coaching to determine skills/goals, establish benefit income streams and help the parent in a search for an employment pathway that provides for meaningful income growth in the future, not just find a current low paying job.
Dennis Bowman, Executive Director of Nicholas House, said “Nicholas House is grateful for the invaluable support of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation and the award of a Breaking Barriers, Building Women: Economic Empowerment grant. This grant will help us build capacity to assist homeless mothers in our programs find meaningful employment that will allow them to grow professionally, earn a living wage and achieve self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. This new capacity will empower clients to build stability as they move toward a brighter future.”
The Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s Breaking Barriers, Building Women: Economic Empowerment Program will allow AWF to award a total of $1 million over two years to eight local nonprofit organizations, focusing on higher education and asset building for low-income women in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Fulton counties. AWF will also host annual workshops and trainings for the nonprofit cohort. Through round-table discussions and presentations, participants will explore the challenges facing women and discuss the best ways to engage groups and individuals to build momentum and best practices on improving the well-being of women in Georgia. The goal of the trainings is to provide organizational capacity building, to encourage dialogue, cross-functional partnerships, and strategic alliances, and to foster collaboration among service providers. Funding for the program is provided through a grant from The Coca-Cola Company.
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity transforms communities through neighborhood revitalization, education, innovative development and partnerships. As one of the largest affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, Atlanta Habitat helps families to have a safe, decent place to live. In addition to constructing affordable, green, quality homes, the nonprofit homebuilder also rehabs existing structures and completes critical home repairs for seniors and military veterans. Houses are sold to first-time homebuyers through zero-interest mortgages in Atlanta and South Fulton County. Visit
Nicholas House’s mission is to help homeless families achieve self-sufficiency. Over the last 36 years, Nicholas House has provided comprehensive housing and case management services to more than 10,000 homeless parents and children in metro Atlanta. Each night, Nicholas House serves over 250 homeless parents and children. We help homeless families attain 3 goals forming the basis of self-sufficiency: earning a living wage, having a mentally, physically and socially healthy family and maintaining their own safe, stable housing. We accept any family composition and size and hold families accountable with specific goals, action steps and evaluations. We focus on long-term outcomes, following families for 2 years after they leave programs to ensure long-term impact. As a result, 87% of families served maintain their own permanent housing a year or more after leaving the program. For more information about programs and services provided by Nicholas House, please visit
The Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s mission is to be a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls. AWF is a convener, educator, and funder. Since 1998, the Foundation has invested over $16 million in Atlanta area nonprofit organizations that have successfully moved women and girls from poverty to economic self-sufficiency. In addition to strategic grantmaking, AWF provides leadership and philanthropic training to a diverse group of professional women to empower not only themselves, but their communities as well. For more information, please visit

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