Some residents of Vine City can still recall its glory days, back when businesses, schools, and church memberships thrived, and civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., called this place home. These days, however, the neighborhood faces high unemployment, drug problems, record foreclosure rates, and the after-effects of natural disasters, including a major flood and tornado.
But within this blighted community is a smaller community offering hope and healing to homeless and low-income individuals, including veterans. Located on Rock Street, Quest Community Development Organization (formerly known as Quest 35 Inc.), was founded by Leonard Adams in 2001. The Gulf War veteran and former entrepreneur turned his talents to the nonprofit world when he realized the need to help chronically homeless and drug-addicted individuals in the area.
To date, his organization has assisted more than 4,000 individuals with supportive housing. Quest properties include renovated and new apartment buildings, a housing complex, and a two-story headquarter building on Rock Street, a tidy cul-de-sac off of Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard.
Among these safe havens is Quest Veterans Village, a 12-unit garden-style apartment building housing disabled veteran men and women. Two years after it opened in 2011, Adams took another look at the property and discovered its residents had no place to come together outdoors.
This fall, CL’s Do Good Campaign is teaming up with Adams’ nonprofit to create an outdoor gathering space for veterans, complete with seating and new plantings, including flowers and decorative grasses. Renovations will begin mid-fall and a volunteer day for planting is scheduled soon after the Thanksgiving holiday. As part of Creative Loafing’s Do Good Campaign — a series of grassroots partnerships with various local neighborhoods and nonprofits — the Atlanta-based news organization is working with Quest to raise $2,500 to help fund the greenspace project. Do Good sponsor the Home Depot Foundation will match donations dollar for dollar up to $2,500.
The resulting $5,000 will enable Quest Veterans Village to build a dedicated outdoor seating area and garden for residents. It will also honor the soldiers and their service as they re-establish themselves within a deserving Atlanta community.
Read more about this project on CLATL.com: Do Good Vine City!