Grants to Green provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofits in the Atlanta region. The founding partners of Grants to Green are The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta providing expertise in grantmaking, and Southface, providing expertise in energy efficiency.
As a housing provider, it is critical for Jerusalem House to maintain the physical integrity of the facilities where we operate our programs while also ensuring the environmental and economic sustainability of our agency. Over the last two years, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s Grants to Green initiative has afforded us the opportunity to retrofit the energy infrastructure at our physical sites to lessen our carbon footprint and to create a more comfortable housing environment for our residents.
With the financial support of the Grants to Green Program and the environmental expertise of Southface, in 2011 and 2013 our agency undertook environmental renovations at our two physical housing facilities, the Family Program and the Program for Adults.
In June 2016, our Program for Adults and Family Program were chosen as Top Performers for Energy Conservation by the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, a program of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Our energy savings were made possible by Grants to Green.
Upgrades at the Family Program
Founded in 1997, the Family Program is entirely devoted to homeless single mothers with HIV/AIDS and their children and features an onsite Learning Center, a playground and a recreation center. The site was originally commissioned in the 1920s and operated as the Davison School for Speech and Hearing for 25 years before undergoing its last renovations to become part of Jerusalem House. In 2011, Grants to Green funding allowed us to complete the first significant renovations to the Family Program in 14 years including adding insulation to the main office and recreational center roof, replacing the heat pump in the main office, installing a ductless heat pump on the second floor and adding insulation in resident apartment attics.
Upgrades at the Program for Adults
The Program for Adults facility opened in 1989 to provide efficiency apartments and supportive services to 23 homeless men and women with AIDS. This facility includes a shared kitchen, dining room, living room, screened porch, exercise room, and TV areas. At the time of our Grants to Green proposal, the main building was 80+ years old and had not been renovated since 1991. The funds we were awarded in 2013 allowed us to replace ductless mini-splits in individual apartment units; install ultra-efficient toilets and low-flow faucets; and to install roof insulation throughout the facility.
Improvements to both facilities have drastically reduced the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy and created a more comfortable environment for residents, volunteers and staff. Furthermore, the upgrades have created savings that ensure the financial longevity of the agency. Over the course of one year, electricity and gas savings at the Family Program totaled $5,298! As we face increased government instability, these savings have become crucial to our residents and programs.
The improvements have reduced the consumption of non-renewable sources of energy and created a more comfortable environment for residents, volunteers and staff. Further, the improvements have created savings that ensure the financial stability of the agency. Yet, just as important as our energy and monetary savings, are the reactions of our residents, staff and Board of Directors:
“Seeing the improvements Jerusalem House has made to our apartments makes me feel like part of a community, a family that cares about each others’ needs.” – Erica, Family Program Resident
“It has been a blessing to perform upgrades to the Family Program facility. Over the years, the age of the site had made climate control during the summer and winter months difficult and costly. Since the improvements, the staff has spent less time worrying about the physical conditions of their working and living spaces and focused their efforts on providing a welcoming and safe environment for all residents, volunteers and visitors.” – Janice Harris-Corry, Director of Housing and Residential Services
“During times of national financial uncertainty, it is important for Jerusalem House to make sound investments to our fixed asset resources. By investing in environmentally sustainable upgrades to the Family Program, we positively impact our environment and ensure the future economic efficiency of the agency.” – Randy H. Luffman, Past President of the Board of Directors