City of Refuge Receives Funding to Expand Job Training on the Westside

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The City of Refuge, a non-profit organization that provides access to opportunities in housing, vocational training, healthcare and youth development to impoverished and homeless people on Atlanta’s Westside, will receive an infusion of more than $7 million from the Coca-Cola Foundation, Chick-Fil-A and the City of Atlanta to expand job training programs and foster economic development in the area. Invest Atlanta joined the City of Atlanta in its financial commitment to make this initiative possible.

The funds will finance construction and operation of an innovative jobs hub that will give people skills training in automotive technology, retail, culinary arts, landscaping, security services and HVAC installation and repair. Critical elements of the hub will be a computer-coding academy for young adults and a small business incubator and accelerator to support aspiring entrepreneurs.

The investments made by The Coca-Cola Company and Chick-Fil-A have laid the foundation for the City of Refuge’s new “Shining the Light” capital campaign, which aims to raise $25 million by 2018 to support the organization’s core programs, including permanent supportive housing and workforce housing.

The planning phase for the job hub has begun. Construction and renovation of the more than 20,000-sq.ft. training center and culinary academy – as well as programming for the facility – will begin soon and continue through September 2019.

The mission of the City of Refuge is about complementing job training with the comprehensive social services that can help people attain self-sufficiency and middle-class economic status as adults. This assistance includes transitional housing – accompanied by a daily hot breakfast, lunch and dinner – onsite health care, and activities for children and youth.