This past weekend, we had the honor and privilege of playing at a fundraiser gala for an organization very dear to our hearts, Safehouse Outreach (or SHO). Several of us have volunteered with them over the years, and their founder Philip Bray is truly one of our heroes. Playing the Oceans Ballroom at the Georgia Aquarium was amazing; there are beluga whale tanks built into the walls. There’s nothing like watching a 3,500 lb mammal swim by in the middle of “Lean On Me” (believe it or not, that was our opening song, by request.)
A little bit about SHO, from their website: In 1982, Philip Bray took to the streets to rescue child prostitutes and runaways who were being sexually exploited in Atlanta, Ga. Inspired by his own experiences, he wanted to reach those who the Church considered unreachable. At 7th & Peachtree Street, a booth in a local hamburger restaurant became the headquarters for SafeHouse on Friday and Saturday nights, named SafeHouse because the youth who wanted help were taken to a safehouse to insure their safety while family or the authorities were being contacted.
Within 6 months, over 200 volunteers came together with manpower and compassion and began reaching out to anyone in need. Soon SafeHouse outgrew the booth and moved to a facility off Peachtree Street. They held church services at midnight on Friday nights and became known within the city as a place where the unreachable could come for assistance.
Over the past 25 years, SafeHouse has been instrumental in impacting lives and changing communities. Today, SafeHouse has matched over 500 caring adults as mentors with at-risk children through SHO’s MentorPlus program and educated hundreds of teen parents in parenting and life skills in SHO’s A New Generation drop-out prevention program. And literally thousands have received a hot meal along with assistance to get back on their feet.
Recognized by mayors, governors, and the President of the United States, SafeHouse offers a hand-up, not just a hand-out, and is active in finding solutions for those in crisis.
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