Improving life for the homeless in the USA

CEDEP | Salvation Army

“We were evicted with no notice, we lost everything. When we got here our faith in humanity was restored.”

We have worked with CEDEP for several years, and in October 2022, around 100 participants on an executive programme spent two days improving the outdoor space at a Salvation Army shelter in Atlanta, Georgia.

The CEDEP team chose the Salvation Army as its charity partner, recognising the unwavering demand for its services supporting people in the city who have fallen on hard times and lost their homes.

“Now I have employment, and a sense of worth,” one resident told us, adding: “It’s not how much money you make, but what you do with what you make, which is important.”

One mother, for whom the shelter was a lifeline when she was evicted along with her partner and two small children, told us: “We lost everything. When we got here, our faith in humanity was restored.”

The CEDEP cohort involved employees from a leading global sustainable transport logistics business who came together for the project from all over the world including Australia and New Zealand, Chile, Guatemala and Mexico.

Together, they created an attractive sheltered seating area for those receiving support at the shelter, which has capacity for 300 beds.

Colin Robertson, Splash Senior Programme Manager who managed the project, said: “The outdoor space is heavily used by the residents but there was very little there for them.

“People using the centre are at their lowest ebb, so having a pleasant communal area will bring people together and help them feel part of a community.

“When you’re homeless, you feel like there is no one looking out for you, so this has meant a lot to them.”

Colin added: “Once the project is handed over to the team, the delivery is up to them, we let them decide how they want to approach the project and then we facilitate it.

“They were really committed right from the start: a few of them stayed on after the planning exercise the night before, then in the morning three of them were already on site when I arrived.”