Thursday, December 20, 2012

So what exactly does the shelter do?

Here at AAHS, most of our posts are about community involvement and donations, but we want to make sure you know what our programs actually do for the homeless community. So here it is!

Almost Home

Almost Home is a transitional housing program for homeless women and their children.
The Transitional Shelter Program seeks to decrease barriers to housing stability by providing shelter and case management services to eligible homeless families.
Eligible families receive shelter for up to 24 months while seeking and maintaining employment, education, and training. The Transitional Shelter Program Director works with the family to determine short- and long-term goals that will lead to financial independence.
In 2012 the Almost Home Program provided housing for 20 mothers and 41 children.

How you can help: Be a support system for homeless families.

Volunteer. Many of our families became homeless due to a lack of a community or family support system. Volunteering at AAHS provides you with an opportunity to be that support system for our mothers and their children.
Donate. Your support allows us to keep the lights on, pay utility bills, and purchase food for our families.
Connect. Use the Athens Area Homeless Shelter's online community to inform your social networks about our programs and how you are plugging in.

Going Home

The Going Home rapid rehousing program provides case management support, rental, and utility assistance to families in Athens that are ready for permanent housing.
Going Home provides scaled support over the course of the program, with the clients gradually increasing their own level of responsibility until they are fully independent.
As always, our goal at the shelter is to look below the surface at root issues, working toward sustainable solutions.  Going Home is a huge stride forward in this direction, and we need the community's support more than ever to continue supporting families as they strive for independence.  AAHS is excited to have launched this program in September of 2012.
In 2012, the Going Home Program provided assistance to move 9 families in to permanent, sustainable housing.

How you can help: Help us furnish apartments.

Donate. While the shelter provides financial assistance to move in to apartments, clients have needs such as beds, kitchen supplies, linens and towels, and household toiletries when they move.
Transportation. Clients often are unable to move their belongings into housing without assistance from the community. If you have a truck or large vehicle, be on our call list for transportation needs.
Connect. Use the Athens Area Homeless Shelter's online community to inform your social networks about our programs and how you are plugging in

JobTREC: Job Training, Referral, Education, Case Management

The JobTREC program seeks to decrease barriers to housing stability by providing case management services to eligible homeless individuals. Our clients are required to participate in a comprehensive intake process. Once the intake process is completed, our case managers work closely with each client to evaluate specific needs and to develop short- and long-term goals.

Did you know?

Homeless job seekers in Athens are also mothers and fathers; many are veterans; most are educated and desire to continue their educations. While JobTREC clients can come from different life experiences and although they face homelessness for a variety of reasons, they all have one thing in common: they want to work.
  • 64% of low-income and homeless families in Athens have at least one adult in the workforce.
  • 50% of hours worked at a full-time job at minimum wage will be devoted to pay rent.
  • 100% of hours worked at a part-time job at minimum wage will be devoted to pay rent.
In 2012 the JobTREC program provided comprehensive case management services to over 180 individuals in the Athens Community.

How you can help: Make Athens Work.

JobTREC staff provide a number of critical services to our clients. With your support, we can do so much more.
Job Training. Partner with us to provide our clients with job training opportunities. Host a workshop and share your expertise with us. Our clients are eager to learn valuable job skills.
Interview Skills Training. Partner with us to provide our clients with mock interview opportunities. What do you look for in a potential employee? what are the best questions to ask during an interview in your profession? You and your staff can teach our clients a wealth of knowledge in even one short mock interview setting.
Job Placement. Our clients are ready to learn how to become a part of your company. Let us know what you are looking for in a potential employee. We can refer clients to you who are suited for employment within your organization.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Holiday Gift Card Drive

Holiday Gift Cards

This holiday season consider supporting our residents by providing gift cards to Wal-Mart and Target for our moms to use to shop for their own families.

We believe it is valuable to allow each of our moms to personalize their family's Christmas and have a hand in picking out and wrapping presents.

Gift cards are great in any amount- from $5 to $500! Please donate gift cards by December 17th so that we have enough time to organize our shopping trip. You can also donate through our website and GA Gives page, specifying your donation is for our gift card drive, or by sending a check.
georgia gives day


Choose an amount, or give whatever you can!

$ Other :
Make this donation:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wooten Woopets Puppet Show at AAHS!

Thanks so much to Wooten Woopets for the puppet show they brought to the shelter! The kids (and moms!) had an amazing time and we love having the community come in and spend time with us!

Check out some of the memories from the night!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Look past the holidays for volunteer opportunities

Check out this Athens Banner Herald article about Athens Area Homeless Shelter!

original article:

Monday, Nov. 19, 2012

Look past the holidays for volunteer opportunities
OnlineAthens/Athens Banner-Herald
Thanos Skouteris, a senior member of Alpha Kappa Psi, talks with a child while he eats at Athens Area Homeless Shelter in Athens, Ga., Thu., Nov. 15, 2012. (AJ Reynolds/Staff)

About 10 members of the University of Georgia business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi carved out time from their schedules last week to give a gift that in many ways is the most basic for humans: the gift of sustenance.

They, like dozens of others will and have throughout the holidays, went to the Athens Area Homeless Shelter to prepare a meal for the mothers and children there who needed to take up residence as a respite from hard times.
“Me and the whole fraternity believe that it is good to give back, especially to the community in which you live,” said the co-ed organization’s community service chair, Elise Diehl.
Holiday volunteers are in no short supply at the Athens Area Homeless Shelter. In fact, if you wanted to spend a night or two helping to prepare food or baby-sit, they ask that you keep an eye on the post-holiday season.
Dinnertime volunteer opportunities there already are filled for November and December, but January and February show more holes than not. And not having volunteers, shelter Director Katie Smith said, makes it harder for the residents to get dinner.
“We still have to feed our residents every day of the year, regardless of if we have volunteers,” she said.
The shelter usually has about six mothers and 15 children living there who otherwise would be homeless, Smith said, and they need dinner every day of the year. It is particularly hard to find people to prepare dinner for the residents in January and early summer, as many UGA students have emptied out of Athens by then, Smith said.
“There’s a lot of places that have a holiday blitz, so we just want to ask that people keep us in mind year-round,” Smith said.
Not to say that the shelter doesn’t need any help between November and the New Year.
It is entering into its third year of a holiday donation drive, where it asks for gift cards instead of toys and other presents, which allows the mothers to buy their family Christmas presents, Smith said.
“It empowers them to do their own Christmas shopping for their families,” she said.
Gift cards to Walmart and Target are in the highest demand, Smith said.
The shelter also is in need of general supplies — toiletry items, such as shampoo and toothpaste, high-efficiency laundry detergent, diapers and the like. Professional clothes and clothes that can be worn to job interviews are also in demand, Smith said.
But if meeting the families in person is more your style, Smith said volunteers can make the experience into whatever they want. Some volunteers will baby-sit while mothers take classes or go to home meetings, building bonds with the children along the way. Others will prepare the food and enjoy it with the families, or merely hang back and clean up. Still more will share special skills in parenting or cooking or professional life with the mothers in classes.
“Our volunteer opportunities can really be anything the groups can want it to be,” Smith said.
• Follow government and business reporter Nick Coltrain at or on Facebook at 

AAHS is asking for donations of gift cards that will allow our residents to buy personalized gifts for their kids from traditional superstores (e.g., Wal-Mart, Target).

We welcome all gift cards from $5, $10, $100 or more.  If you would like to give, please make your donations by December 14th so that we can have enough time to organize our shopping trip.  We would love to receive gift cards, but if you would rather donate cash or check, we will buy the gift cards with the money you give us.  You can come by the shelter any time (directions below) to drop off your donations any weekday from 10AM to 6PM.  Alternatively, you can make your donation with a credit or debit card on our website ( by clicking on "Give" and following the instructions.
Thank you so much for helping to make Christmas morning a fun and exciting time for the residents of Athens Area Homeless Shelter!

If you're interested in volunteering with Athens Area Homeless Shelter, check our our opportunities at, contact the shelter at 706-354-0423, or email

Monday, November 12, 2012

Harvest for the Homeless 2012 was a great success!

Dear Friends and Family of AAHS, 
On behalf of the Board, the staff, the women and children who live at our shelter,
and the families that we serve through our programming --
thank you so very much for the overwhelming support that you showed for this year’s Harvest for the Homeless!
It was our largest and most successful event ever -
a HUGE thank you to all who contributed.
You’ve helped make it possible for AAHS to continue doing our work!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Georgia Gives Day

Interested in a new way to support Athens Area Homeless Shelter? 
Join us December 6 for Georgia Gives Day!
Agencies across Georgia are participating in a blitz of giving, and Athens Area Homeless Shelter is a part of it!

Donations on Georgia Gives Day will be used to support our 
Holiday Gift Card Program, resident needs, and childcare costs.

georgia gives day

Georgia Gives Day is an opportunity for everyone, in every corner of the state to support the causes that make Georgia great.


 on our GA Gives Day page at 
Please check out the page and make a donation to help us keep offering our great services!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Donating Just Got Easier!

It is now easier to Donate to the Shelter!
Our shelter is dependent on donations and now we have made it effortless to give.
Thanks for the continued support!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Harvest for the Homeless 2012!

Join us Friday, November 2 at Harvest for the Homeless! 
Buy your event tickets here!

This year’s event promises to be the best and most fun yet, with music by the Athens Swing Band, a dance demo, cocktails and appetizers.

We also have a silent auction offering everything from a Georgia mountain getaway package to UGA and music paraphanalia, to beautiful jewelry from local artisans!

And, as always, we have the best raffle in town – a chance to win 52 gift certificates to local restaurants and eat out weekly for an entire year on us!

Buy your raffle tickets here!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Harvest for the Homeless!

November 2nd is quickly approaching, and that means you will soon have an opportunity to win a free dinner for every week of the year, bid on some of Athens's best merchandise and services, have fun AND support local homeless mothers and their children... all at the same time! If you join us at the Classic Center next Friday, November 2, you'll get to:

Enjoy great food and drink

Dance to excellent music by Athens Swing Band

Have a chance at winning 52 gift certificates to local Athens restaurants
(including The Last Resort, Ted's Most Best, Inoko, Etienne, DePalma's, Dondero's Kitchen, La Docle Vita, Pauley's, Square One Fish Co., Heirloom Cafe, Cali & Tito's and more)

Bid on unique items and services from local businesses
(including Chick Music, Rage Hair Studio, Bulldog Sporting Goods, Top Dawg Scooters, JWR Jewelers, Heery's, Foundry Park Inn, Margo, Chandlee Jewelers and more)

We'll see you there!

Event and Raffle tickets are available now at,
by calling 706-354-0423,
or by emailing

Monday, October 1, 2012

Eat Free for a Year!

Wait.. WHAT?! Once a week for a year?
52 restaurants in town have donated gift cards and certificates to support our raffle 
so that the lucky winner can eat free for a year! 
Thanks so much for the donations:
The Last Resort
Sweet Pepper's Deli
Sonny's Real Pit BBQ
Grilled Terryaki  
Ted's Most Best
Jason's Deli
Moe's Southwest Grille
Your Pie
Olive Garden
Five and Ten
Etienne Brasserie 
Dondero's Kitchen  
The National
Big City Bread
Raising Canes
Marti's at Midday
Mama's Boy
La Dolce Vita
The Volstead 
Ben & Jerry's  
Lumpkin Cafe 
Siri Thai 
Cozy Yum Yum   
The Globe       
Al's Beef
Square One Fish Co
Blind Pig Tavern
Heirloom Cafe
Raffle tickets are $5 a piece, or 5 tickets for $20. 
Raffle tickets are available to anyone, and it is not required that those who enter come to the event on November 2! 
Event and Raffle tickets are available now at,
by calling 706-354-0423,
by emailing,
or by clicking the links right there to the right

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dance! Eat and Drink! Raffle! Silent Auction!

Sound fun to you? Get your tickets today for Athens Area Homeless Shelter's
9th annual Harvest for the Homeless! 
Get ready to dance the night away to music by the Athens Swing Band; bid on great silent auction baskets from local retailers, entrepreneurs, and businesses; and don't forget to enter our raffle once or twice (or 10 times!) to win 52 gift certificates to area restaurants!

Event and Raffle tickets are available now at,
by calling 706-354-0423,
by emailing,
or by clicking the links right there to the right

We can't wait to spend the evening with you!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Athens Volunteer Fair

AAHS will be participating in the Athens Volunteer Fair on Thursday September 13 from 12-6! To learn about our volunteer and donation opportunities stop by the table!

originally seen at Online Athens

Fair offers information on volunteering

HandsOn Northeast Georgia will once again partner with the University of Georgia Center for Leadership and Service to put on the Athens Volunteer Fair from noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 13 in the Grand Hall of the University of Georgia Tate Student Center.
Within each community there are those who give of themselves to others in need, but finding the right fit between volunteers and organizations can be difficult. The purpose of the volunteer fair is to offer the public an opportunity to find the right fit for their interests to enable them to give back to the community. Guests will be able to interact with representatives from 60 local agencies, gather information about volunteer opportunities and ask questions in person.
“The volunteer fair is a great opportunity to just see what’s out there and learn about the Athens community,” said Dawn Aiello, community programs director for Community Connection. “There will be organizations at the fair that work with a variety of community issues — families and children, hospice care, poverty, homelessness, education, disabilities, the environment and so much more.”
The UGA Center for Leadership and Service also will lead a panel discussion about careers in nonprofits from 11 a.m. to noon in Tate room 141.
Those that currently are seeking employment are encouraged to attend the fair and sign up to volunteer at an agency because volunteering is a signal to employers that you are actively increasing your skill set and gaining experience.
The volunteer fair not only is a chance for people to learn about the community and what agencies are doing to combat issues in the area, but also how to assist in those areas as well. “We hope to see community members, K-12 students and teachers, and folks affiliated with the institutions of higher education in Athens come to the fair to learn about how they can donate their time to the Athens community. We’re residents of this great town so we all have a responsibility to give back in the ways that we are able,” Aiello said.
Admission to the fair is free. Guests can park for free in the Tate Student Center parking garage.
For more information, call (706) 353-1313, ext. 231.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Summer Newsletter 2012

Check out what's been going on at the shelter this summer and get the scoop on what we've got coming up this fall!

Thanks for Getting the Outdoor Area Fall Ready!!

Thanks a bunch to the Georgia Students for Public Administration 
who came out and transformed the outdoor part of the shelter! 
They repainted picnic tables, cleaned up the outdoor play area, fixed up the garden areas, 
all along with some regular maintenance.
Our residents are really excited to enjoy the fall weather with their upgraded outdoor area!