New Community Space Honors English Avenue’s Mattie Freeland

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Mattie Freeland Community House officially opened on Friday, March 31 in Atlanta’s English Avenue neighborhood.

This new space will host workshops, classes, and meetings, all offering nearby residents a place to learn new skills, make connections within their community, and grow as individuals. Classes will focus on areas such as financial literacy, computer basics, and resume building. Neighbors will also be able to come together to discuss issues impacting the community such as affordable housing.

Mattie Freeland, known affectionately as “Miss Mattie,” was an English Avenue anchor and icon for decades, opening her home to children and offering support to those in need.

“From this corner she brought healing, from this corner she brought restoration, and from this corner she brought reconciliation,” said New Life’s Senior Pastor Rev. Timothy Rodgers. “We will continue to build on her legacy and continue what she was doing here.”

Dr. Mironda Williams, Miss Mattie’s granddaughter, was there to celebrate the grand opening, and shared stories of how her grandmother encouraged her to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. Dr. Williams also announced that she was launching The Mattie Elizabeth Patterson Freeland Foundation.

“What I hope that foundation will be is to replicate what has happened in this community, and create community safe spaces for our children, for our neighbors, for our elderly,” she said.

A few minutes later, Councilmember Ivory Lee Young, Jr. (District 3) surprised Dr. Williams with the announcement he was donating $10,000 to the foundation to assist on developing a nearby park to honor Miss Mattie’s legacy.

Young said the area will be a “visible reminder of how we are all called to love those around us.”

Many volunteers and organizations were involved in completing the construction of the Mattie Freeland Community House, including New Life Covenant Church, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Home Depot Foundation, Holder, Hunt, Russell, and Moody and English Avenue residents.

Invest Atlanta was involved from the start to ensure Miss Mattie’s house became a community resource, and several staff members volunteered their time to help with painting and landscaping.

The Mattie Freeland Community House is only a block away from nine newly upgraded affordable housing units at the Hagar Housing Development, another Invest Atlanta project that also opened recently on the Westside.