Peachtree Road UMC and Community Partners Open the 'Welcome Home House' for Incarcerated Women Reentering Society


Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta and City of Refuge (COR), a faith-based organization focused on families transitioning from crisis, have opened their first Welcome Home House, a supportive, transitional house for women reentering society from prison. Atlanta Habitat for Humanity constructed the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house located on Atlanta’s Westside.

A collaboration between PRUMC and COR, the Welcome Home House program seeks to build safe, stable housing for women returning to society from prison, allowing them to reach their full potential. Residents of the Welcome Home House will be part of the COR community with full access to its range of services, including trauma counseling, job training, and family reunification support. The house is dedicated in honor of Chaplain Susan Bishop, who served more than 40 years as a Chaplain in the Georgia Department of Corrections.

One of the most significant barriers that formerly incarcerated people face is securing affordable housing. Per the Prison Policy Initiative, formerly incarcerated people are almost ten times more likely to be homeless than the general public. And of the formerly incarcerated, women were more than 70% more likely to be homeless than men. (Nowhere to Go: Homelessness among formerly incarcerated people, Prison Policy Initiative, August 2018)

“Lack of housing is a significant recidivism risk for the formerly incarcerated, and especially so for women who are typically dealing with a background of abuse and poverty and have less reentry beds available to them,” said Beth Spencer, director of local outreach for PRUMC.

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at COR and Atlanta Habitat to make this first house a reality and to support the life-changing work of both organizations. We would like to thank our donors and the individuals who believed this dream was possible,” said Spencer.

“The Welcome Home House is a unique undertaking for Atlanta Habitat and we are honored to construct a home serving as a springboard to a new life for these women,” stated Rosalyn Merrick, Atlanta Habitat’s executive vice president & COO. “Our involvement is an extension of our nearly 40-year relationship with PRUMC, during which 53 Atlanta Habitat houses have been built. We are proud to work with these two wonderful organizations.”