As the holiday season approaches, it can be easy to forget that with rising inflation and housing prices increasing, many families are struggling to afford basic necessities.
The Rainbow Village in Gwinnett County is currently helping 30 families who are experiencing homelessness so that they can have safe, affordable housing as they work to rebuild their lives.
“Rainbow Village is a transitional housing program. And that's just the beginning of what we do" CEO of Rainbow Village Melanie Conner explained. "We actually provide not only housing, but we provide life skills training for the adults, we provide opportunities for the children to have after school programs. There is a totality of wraparound services for every family that we serve. On the campus, we have 30 apartments that are two and three-bedroom apartments where the families live.”
Conner also said that residents at the Rainbow Village are able to stay for up to two years. Families only pay $450 a month, which includes all utilities, access to financial advice, childcare, and other services the program offers.
“Our main goal is to first make sure that we have these families housed because without that, they can't really progress and make achievements on any of their other goals,” she said. “The primary thing that we try to do though is to get them to a point where they're able to move out into market-rate housing so that they're no longer homeless, and they actually have their own place to call home.”
As of right now, all 30 apartment complexes at the Rainbow Village are full, though the program is looking to expand. According to Conner, it is estimated that around 10,000 families in the area are experiencing some level of homelessness, and the holidays can make life even more challenging for them.
Conner highlighted that as the holiday season approaches, there are many ways the community can give back to these struggling families.
The Rainbow Village is always in need of tutors and other childcare providers for their after-school programs, volunteers to help with beautification projects, and even a few tasks that could be done from home. For those interested in volunteering, click here.
For those who cannot give their time, Conner also reminds the community that they can find a list of needed items on their Amazon wish list. During the holiday season, the Rainbow Village also asks for those who can to donate gift cards that can be given to families so they can purchase gifts for their children and other necessities.
For more information on Rainbow Village, visit their website.