BeltLine seeks construction offers for Southside Trail, MARTA to provide update on light rail extension, Buckhead and Midtown organizations open community inquiries – SaportaReport


This week in 1905, Alonzo Herndon, a former slave, created the company that would make him Atlanta’s first black millionaire – the highly successful Atlanta Life Insurance Company. The company had 23 offices in Georgia.

Although he was born into a cruel and unjust system, Herdon ultimately achieved great success. He also owned several high-end barbershops in the city and more than 100 homes, which speaks to his keen business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit.

Let’s move on to the other local news of the week:

The trail on the south side. (Map provided by Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.)

Atlanta BeltLine Inc. Seeks Construction Bids for Southside Trail Segments

Construction could begin soon on two segments of the Atlanta Beltline South Side Trail between Glenwood Avenue and the Boulevard.

Atlanta BeltLine Inc. (ABI), the agency in charge of planning and construction of the 22-mile loop of multi-use trails and public transit around the city, announced the publication of a request for proposals September 8. Construction could begin “in the next few months” and take two years, ABI said in a press release. Work will include rebuilding a bridge over United Avenue.

The Southside Trail corridor winds between Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown and University Avenue in the Adair Park/Pittsburgh area. The trail opened in 2019 in a preliminary unpaved state. Over the past year, two segments have been paved – between Memorial and Glenwood and between University and Pittsburgh Yards.

For planning purposes, the trail project is divided into smaller segments, of which the bidding portions are segments 4 and 5.

ABI says Segments 2 and 3, between Pittsburgh Yards and Boulevard, are expected to be tendered within a year.

Segment 6 is the existing trail along Bill Kennedy Way between Glenwood and Memorial, which has raised concerns for safety issues with traffic barriers and other issues. ABI said it will engage an engineering design team this fall for “a permanent trail solution” that will include a separate trail bridge over I-20.

—John Ruch

The Atlanta Streetcar in 2015, its first full year of operation. File/Credit:

MARTA will inform the public about the tram extension project to the east

Next week, MARTA, in partnership with the City of Atlanta and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., is hosting two town hall meetings to provide updates on the Eastern tramway extension project. When completed, the streetcar would run between Edgewood Avenue and the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Corridor, just south of Ponce de Leon Avenue.

In MayMARTA officials have announced that expansion to an eastern segment of the Beltline could be opened by 2027.

The in-person meeting will be at Dad’s Garage on Monday, September 12 at 6 p.m., with the online meeting offered at the same time on Tuesday, September 13.

—Hannah E. Jones

(L to R) CHGA CEO Alieizoria Redd, Congresswoman Nikema Williams and Asia Morman. (Photo courtesy of CHGA.)

Federal funds awarded to Covenant House Georgia for its services to young families

Last week, Congresswoman Nikema Williams — serving in Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District — announced a federal investment of $191,000 in Georgia Covenant House (CHGA) to fund mental health and comprehensive services for young families in its Transitional Living Program.

Covenant House International spans six countries and 34 cities, with the CHGA providing food, shelter, counselling, education and job training to homeless, runaway and trafficked youth since 2000.

CHGA’s Transitional Living program provides offsite housing for 18 months for people who are pregnant or have children ages 18-21. The program gives young parents the space and support they need to stabilize their mental health and strengthen their parenting skills. They also have access to other CHGA services such as mental and physical health care, workforce training, and life skills development.

“I know what it means to live on the margins of society,” MP Nikema Williams said in a press release. “I grew up in a rural Alabama home with no indoor plumbing or running water. I know what it means to have a roof over my head and a safe place to live. Because I have benefited from the fact that people were caring for me, I have an obligation to fund programs that give back to the community.That’s why I got this application for community project funding for Covenant House Georgia.This money will support young people who are still trying to find their place in our community and will give them a fighting chance and the opportunities in life that everyone deserves.

—Hannah E. Jones

Buckhead and Midtown organizations open community investigations

Buckhead and Midtown organizations conduct community surveys to obtain feedback on a variety of neighborhood issues.

The 2022 “Buckhead State” The non-profit organization Livable Buckhead’s semi-annual survey is open until September 25. She seeks input on issues such as parks, public transit, crime and the controversial movement in the town of Buckhead.

The 2022 “Midtown Community Survey” by the Midtown Improvement District expects responses by September 21. It is a follow-up to a 2019 survey.

Both organizations use these surveys to help determine programs and policy suggestions. And both offer rewards for their participation. Responders from Buckhead have a chance to win a $50 gift card, while Responders from Midtown have a chance to win a limited-edition t-shirt.

—John Ruch

Lendmark pledges to raise $10 million for CURE Childhood Cancer by 2025

Lendmark Financial Services — provider of household and consumer credit solutions — aims to raise a total of $10 million by 2025 to support research in CURE childhood cancer, an Atlanta-based nonprofit. The campaign will mark the 10th anniversary of the company’s partnership with CURE.

Since 2016, Lenmark has become CURE’s largest donor, hosting an annual Climb to Cure fundraising and awareness campaign that has raised $4.73 million to date.

According to CURE, childhood cancers differ from adults and research rarely includes children. In response, CURE dedicates more than $4.7 million annually to support research projects aimed at curing cancers affecting young people.

“We are extremely grateful for Lendmark’s continued commitment to CURE through their extraordinary donations and fundraising efforts. In just seven years, they have raised $4.73 million, ensuring essential research for children with cancer advances,” said CURE CEO Kristin Connor. “We truly appreciate every employee, partner and customer who gives and personally champions the effort, as we dedicate every dollar raised by Lendmark to CURE’s precision medicine initiative. Precision medicine offers one of the greatest opportunities available to save children’s lives and advance the fight against childhood cancer.

—Hannah E. Jones

Jehovah’s Witnesses resume door-to-door ministry after pandemic hiatus

Jehovah’s Witnesses are knocking on doors again in metro Atlanta and across the country after a two-and-a-half-year pandemic hiatus.

The Christian denomination has seen one of the most intense shutdowns among religious organizations, citing the sanctity of life and the biblical prescription to love one’s neighbor as reasons to avoid any risk of spreading COVID. They closed their places of worship, called Kingdom Halls, in March 2020 and kept them closed until April this year.

The “public ministry,” or door-to-door evangelism by members, for which the faith is probably best known among outsiders, has also been put on hold. It was replaced by letters and phone calls.

“We believe the early decision to close all in-person activities for more than two years saved many lives,” Robert Hendriks, spokesman for the denomination’s New York-based US headquarters, said in a press release. . “We are now ready and eager to reconnect with our neighbors – person to person, face to face. It’s not the only way we preach, but it has always been the most effective way to deliver our message of comfort and hope.

The door-to-door campaign resumed on September 1, according to the statement.

—John Ruch

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

Former HOPE Atlanta CEO Named Executive Director of ARCHI

The Atlanta Regional Collaboration for Health Improvement (ARCHI) — a coalition of public, private and not-for-profit organizations committed to improving the region’s health — recently announced its new CEO, Jeffrey M. Smythe. He assumed the new role on September 1, following Kathryn Lawler who left ARCHI to join St. Joseph’s Health System/Mercy Care as CEO.

With nearly 30 years of nonprofit experience, Smythe most recently served as CEO of HOPE Atlanta, an organization that provides a holistic, individualized approach to fostering self-sufficiency and lifelong stability in the fight against homelessness. Throughout his career, Smythe has worked with nonprofits focused on housing and hunger relief, aging and chronic disease management, HIV prevention and support, refugee support and foster families and youth development.

“One of the hallmarks of Jeff’s leadership has been the stakeholder feedback and engagement processes,” said Meredith Swartz, ARCHI’s Acting Executive Director. “Whether it’s for strategic planning, diversity equity and inclusion plans, or feasibility studies, Jeff has seen the power of involving stakeholders in planning and ensuring that those who have lived experience have a central voice, a perfect fit for what we’re trying to do here at ARCHI. ”

—Hannah E. Jones


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