HOPE Atlanta Success Stories

Every fiscal year, HOPE Atlanta helps an average of 6,000 people ‘off the streets for life.’ Over the years, there have been a few stories that truly embody the spirit of HOPE Atlanta’s mission of ending homelessness in our community with the help of our case workers, our clients and the community that we all love.

Below are a few of our most touching client stories. 


Sandra and Rebecca S.

As a result of mounting medical bills and not being able to work, Sandra’s home was foreclosed on. She and her teenage daughter Rebecca ended up living in an extended-stay hotel in Covington, GA – outside of Rebecca’s school district. While helping to care for her sick mother, Rebecca excelled in her schoolwork and was advised she would be valedictorian of her high school graduating class. When Rebecca began to miss classes due to her inability to get to school, she was threatened with suspension. Desperate to help her daughter, Sandra contacted HOPE Atlanta.

HOPE Atlanta case managers worked with the City of Atlanta Public School System to keep Rebecca enrolled in school. We also gave Sandra transportation assistance so that she could attend important doctor’s visits. Within a week, HOPE Atlanta placed Sandra and Rebecca in temporary housing with free rent until Rebecca’s graduation in May of 2017 and are currently working to find Sandra permanent housing.

Rebecca plans to study Engineering at Duke University in the fall where she was awarded a full scholarship.

Ben GrahamBio

Benjamin G.

Ben was homeless, living in his car, and struggling with addiction. He continued to work hard, but would spend all the money on drugs. His mom found him once, almost unrecognizable as her loving son, and offered her help. He tried different drug rehabilitation programs and centers but when each time he’d start using again and had to move out.  He bounced in and out of friends’ homes, living in his car and on the street and under expressway overpasses.  He had reached the bottom.   Ben’s first glimmer of hope came in the form of the HOPE Atlanta PATH outreach team, who met him under the bridge. He attempted a drug rehabilitation program again, and failed, but was visited again and again by the PATH team who would not give up on him and gained his trust.  On the day we was finally ready to change his life, the PATH team was there to find him housing first.  Then HOPE Atlanta counselors wrapped an individualized plan around him that would lift him out of homelessness, drug addiction and pain permanently, and put him on a path to become the successful businessman he is today.

Ben now owns a small convenience store just blocks away from where the HOPE PATH outreach team found him sleeping under the freeway.  He got the professional help he needed to face his demons and has become the entrepreneur he always wanted to be.  Ben is now sober and married with a stable home for his new family and great hope for the future.


Chokel T.

Chokel is a Veteran who served the United States Army in Fort Hood, Bosnia, Korea, and Germany.  When the recession hit, work became harder to find, and Chokel was involved in a terrible car accident. He experienced crippling physical pain, and the eruption of bottled up emotional pain stemming from abuse and neglect he experienced as a child. Chokel found himself drinking to soothe his physical and mental pain. The debilitating pain often prevented Chokel from working, and as a result he became homeless, living on the street, unable to pay for the extended stay motel he had been living in.

Chokel’s first glimmer of hope came in the form of his beautiful fiancée.  In spite of their love and support for one another, in December of 2014, Chokel hit rock bottom, the electricity in his apartment was turned off, and he was again facing eviction. It seemed like there was nowhere for his family to go, and that they’d be living on the streets in the middle of winter. Chokel searched desperately to find a place to stay, and was able to save up to stay in an extended stay motel until his family could move into a shelter. At the shelter, Chokel began to receive counseling for past and present trauma, and he was then referred to HOPE Atlanta for housing. Chokel’s case manager, Marita, bridged gaps in the family’s needs by guiding them to community resources, and assistance for army Veterans.

When the family’s time in the shelter ran out, HOPE Atlanta assisted Chokel with temporary housing, long enough for him and his wife to start new jobs, and Marita connected Chokel with a realtor to find a home big enough for the whole family. HOPE Atlanta then assisted Chokel and his family with the housing deposit, utilities, and referred them to a furniture bank.

Today, Chokel and his family live in a fully furnished 3 bedroom home in a safe neighborhood with plenty of room for the children to run and play.