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Christian City Assisted Living Center Administrator Receives Statewide Recognition

Norcross, Georgia, June 28, 2017 – PruittHealth is pleased to announce that Hudie Langston, Administrator at Christian City Assisted Living Center, was recently named Assisted Living Executive Director of the Year for 2017. The award was presented by the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) on Tuesday, June 13 during the Georgia Health Care Association and Georgia Center for Assisted Living’s (GHCA/GCAL) Summer Convention in Amelia Island.

“I am thrilled that Hudie was named as the 2017 Executive Director of the Year. It is an honor that his hard work and dedication to the residents at Christian City Assisted Living Center is recognized among his peers statewide,” said Neil L. Pruitt, Jr., Chairman and CEO of PruittHealth.

Presented annually by ACHCA, the Executive Director of the Year Award is given to individuals who demonstrate leadership that is worthy of statewide recognition. Recipients have achieved noteworthy goals and contributed to the quality of life of their center’s residents.

“On behalf of GHCA/GCAL, I applaud Mr. Langston on receiving this recognition and thank him for his commitment to ensuring the highest quality of care is provided to the vulnerable individuals he serves,” said GHCA/GCAL President and CEO Tony Marshall. “Congratulations on this outstanding achievement!”

About PruittHealth

Since 1969, PruittHealth has been a family-owned organization committed to the care of patients in our communities. We provide a seamless network of post-acute care services and resources, offering skilled nursing care, home health care, end-of-life hospice care, rehabilitation, and pharmacy/infusion services across the Southeast. Our organization is well known for its holistic model of care, as well as its proactive performance improvement programs, and its continuous commitment to caring and to quality. We serve communities across more than 170 provider locations throughout Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and one center in Florida. The PruittHealth seamless care network ensures that on any given day, our 24,000 patients are cared for by PruittHealth’s 16,000 employed partners. Our highly-trained staff and commitment to providing each patient and their family with the level of care and dignity we would expect for our own loved ones are why PruittHealth has remained a leader in healthcare for more than 45 years. For more information please visit: www.PruittHealth.com.

About ACHCA:

Founded in 1962, the American College of Health Care Administrators is a non-profit professional membership association which provides superior educational programming, professional certification, and career development opportunities for its members. Guided by the vision that dynamic leadership forges long term health care services that are desired, meaningful, successful, and efficient, ACHCA identifies, recognizes, and supports long term care leaders, advocating for their mission and promoting excellence in their profession. For more information, visit www.achca-gachapter.org.

About GHCA/GCAL:

The Georgia Health Care Association/Georgia Center for Assisted Living is a non-profit association of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living centers, and home and community based case managers called SOURCE. Advocates for Georgia’s elderly since 1953, the association represents 95% of skilled nursing care facilities in Georgia and represents the best interests of patients, residents and consumers as well as owners, administrators, and other personnel. GHCA strives to enhance the ability of its members to provide competent and compassionate care to meet the ever-changing health care needs of Georgia’s infirm, elderly and disabled citizens. For more information, visit www.ghca.info.

 

 

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Clothes Less Traveled Supports Christian City Children’s Village

June 20, 2017 – Clothes Less Traveled Thrift Shop in Peachtree City continues to serve the community by awarding a generous grant of $25,000 to Christian City Children’s Village, a safe place for children who have been abused or abandoned. Kevin Barbee, Executive Director of Clothes Less Traveled, presented the check to leaders and staff of Christian City Children’s Village.

“We have so many people to thank,” said LaVann Landrum, Chief Development Officer of Christian City. “The dedicated volunteers, staff and board members of Clothes Less Traveled along with those in the community who donated and purchased items at the thrift store made this generous donation possible. On behalf of all the children who receive hope and healing at Christian City Children’s Village, I am deeply grateful,” Landrum said.

About Clothes Less Traveled

Clothes Less Traveled serves the needs of the community by operating a thrift shop where gently-used household goods and clothing are sold at fair and reasonable prices. The thrift store also provides an opportunity for volunteers to perform community service in a positive and productive way. Profits are distributed as scholarships, vouchers and grants to qualified recipients and 501c3 organizations. The store is located in Peachtree City. For more information, visit www.clotheslesstraveled.org or call 770-486-8517.

About Christian City Children’s Village

Christian City was established 52 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and senior adults, living hope-filled lives in the 500-acre community located nine miles south of the Atlanta airport.

Christian City Children’s Village provides a loving and secure environment in family-structured homes. Children ages 5-18 live with full-time house parents, where they work to heal their wounded spirits and break the cycle of abuse they have endured. A warm home, healthy meals, clean clothing, quality education, necessary counseling, and a lot of loving care are provided to the children who are victims of neglect, abuse and abandonment. Some children live at Christian City Children’s Village briefly, while others spend their entire childhoods there. The program is sustained through generous community support from individuals, churches, civic groups, businesses and grantors. For more information, visit www.christiancity.org    or call 770-964-3301.

 

Photo: Clothes Less Traveled awarded a grant to Christian City Children’s Village. Pictured from left are Children’s Village staff members, Jill Thompson, Tanner Amaral, Kelvin Thompson and Sarah Booth, along with LaVann Landrum, Christian City Chief Development Officer; Len Romano, Christian City President & CEO; Kevin Barbee, Executive Director of Clothes Less Traveled; Ashley Bonner, Christian City Development Director; Philip Kouns, Children’s Village COO; and Caroline Strate, staff member.

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Fayetteville Christian Church Cares for Caregivers

(June 16, 2017) – Nursing homes are fertile ground for volunteer service. Visitors are always welcomed and appreciated. When church and school groups want to brighten the day of seniors who can’t get out and about, they often think of nursing homes in the area. Visiting senior residents is a popular way for anyone with a heart for service to give back to their community.

Others serve nursing home residents every day as a career. It’s their job to take care of those who are no longer able to take care of themselves. From therapists, nurses and CNAs to housekeeping and food service, a variety of staff members serve the needs of nursing home residents 24/7. Many say they have a passion for taking care of older people. Others say it’s their calling and they feel blessed to be a blessing. Selflessness is a common thread.

Not everyone thinks of caring for the caregivers, but a volunteer team at Fayetteville Christian Church did. The team contacted the volunteer coordinator at Christian City and made arrangements to provide a brown bag lunch with homemade chicken salad sandwiches to staff members on all three shifts at Christian City’s Assisted Living Center and Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

“We are overjoyed with the ongoing generosity of Fayetteville Christian Church,” says Connie Hall, Volunteer Coordinator at Christian City. “For the second year in a row, a volunteer team has shown their love for our staff by preparing and delivering lunch,” Hall says.

As the volunteers distributed lunches to staff members, they enjoyed the opportunity to share their mutual appreciation for one another’s service. “It doesn’t take much to bring a smile to someone’s face,” says Helen Thornton, who has served as a church secretary at Fayetteville Christian for almost 40 years.

“Fayetteville Christian Church is a part of Christian City’s founding and historic church tradition,” says Carl Ryden, Chaplain and Chief Spiritual Care Officer at Christian City. “The congregation has supported Christian City from its early days. The church has members serving in all areas of our ministry, from board leadership to staff and volunteers,” Ryden says.

Fayetteville Christian Church leads the campus Sunday afternoon worship service several times each year, and Christian City is one of the missions supported financially by the church, also. Ryden expressed his appreciation to the volunteer group saying, “You are not just meeting a need, but also affirming a ministry.”

Len Romano, Christian City CEO, greeted and thanked the volunteers, saying, “You are helping Christian City extend Christ’s call to love your neighbor. Through your selfless service, you are providing life-changing hope to the seniors and children who live here on our campus.”

Audrey Bates, Christian City board member emeritus, is the last original charter member of Fayetteville Christian Church, which was started in 1971 as the first Independent Christian Church in Fayette County. She served as music director for 22 years. “Christian City has been a part of my life since its beginning in 1965,” Bates says. She helped raise money to build the first children’s cottage and has also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Bates’ family has hosted Christian City children for weekend and holiday visits over the years as well.

During this campus visit to serve lunch to the staff, Bates took the opportunity to visit her former neighbor in Christian City Assisted Living Center. Several of their church members now live at Christian City in active senior patio homes and apartments, while others are in the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers.

The church visits each Sunday to serve communion to the three members who are unable to come to church. Senior pastor of Fayetteville Christian, Andrew Higle, has volunteered his service as Chaplain of the Day at Christian City as well. Many members donate items to Graceland Thrift Store, where profits benefit Christian City Children’s Village education fund.

“We believe in the mission and vision of Christian City, and we want to support the physical care and spiritual care that is provided to residents,” says Minister Higle. “For many years, we have supported the care provided to abused and abandoned children who come to Christian City Children’s Village. And the senior residents need to know that we love and care about them, because that is what Christ has called us to do,” Higle commented.

Christian City is one of 18 missions supported by Fayetteville Christian Church. The missions team holds several fundraisers each year – a fish fry in May, yard sale in July, and barbecue in September. The ring leaders of the food-related volunteer efforts are Brian and Barbara Enright, members of Fayetteville Christian for the past 11 years. “We provide about 75% of the church’s specialty cooking,” says Barbara. Brian does the cooking and Barbara specializes in desserts. The couple had been out of church for 35 years before they were coaxed to attend Fayetteville Christian by Barbara’s mother in 2005. Now retired, the Enrights use their talents to prepare meals that convey their church’s love for its members and the community.

Christian City staff and caregivers are often called “loving people, loving people.” On this day, the tables were turned. Fayetteville Christian Church fed the caregivers with good food and love through the selfless service of a delicious homemade lunch in a simple brown bag. As Helen Thornton said, “It doesn’t take much to bring a smile to someone’s face.” To learn more about Christian City, visit www.christiancity.org. For more information about Fayetteville Christian Church, visit www.fayettevillechristian.org.

PHOTO ABOVE: Volunteers from Fayetteville Christian Church deliver brown-bag lunches for the staff of the Christian City Assisted Living Center and Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center. From left: Helen Thornton, Dean Laffan, Audrey Bates, Barbara Enright, Larry Etheridge, Linda Etheridge, Brian Enright and Connie Hall, Christian City Volunteer Coordinator.  (Photo by Larry Regier)

PHOTO ABOVE: Christian City Board of Trustees member, Audrey Bates (left) provides a lunch to Christian City Dietary Aide, Marie Regis. (Photo by Larry Regier)

PHOTO ABOVE: Members of Fayetteville Christian Church have faithfully supported Christian City for more than 45 years. Volunteers from the church serve in many different roles across the campus. On April 25, the group pictured here prepared and delivered brown-bag lunches for the staff of the Assisted Living Center and Skilled Nursing & Rehab Center.  From left: Fayette Christian Church members, Barbara Enright, Audrey Bates, Brian Enright, Len Romano (Christian City CEO), Larry Etheridge, Linda Etheridge, Dean Laffan and Helen Thornton.  (Photo by Larry Regier)

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Christian City Seniors Show Serving Hearts

Senior Residents Fulfill Dreams by Helping Homeless in Atlanta

(Union City, Ga – March 31, 2017) Church worker. Social worker. Missionary. These are just a few of the things that Christian City residents dreamed of becoming in their younger days. Some of their dreams came true as they aged. Others remained aspirations as the residents came to live in the nursing home and assisted living center at Christian City. Many of the residents share a common desire to serve and help others, regardless of their age and living situation.

“The mission of Christian City is to extend Christ’s call to love your neighbor through housing, health care and crisis intervention for children, families and older adults. And our promise is to provide life-changing hope through faith, community and care,” said Steven Sheets, Administrator of Christian City’s Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. “Our residents, staff and volunteers seek to live out this mission and promise every day at Christian City,” Sheets said.

Each year, the Pruitt Health team at Christian City, serving in skilled nursing and rehab, assisted living, pharmacy, hospice and home health, interview senior residents to hear about their dreams. Some of the dreams are big, like a vacation to Hawaii. And some are simple, such as attending a baseball game. But, one common thread ran through many of the interviews this year: serving in simple ways and helping others was the dream of many senior residents at Christian City.

“The staff put their heads together to fulfill the dreams of our ‘giving’ residents,” said Hudie Langston, Administrator of Christian City’s Assisted Living Center. “Matthew 25:40 tells us, ‘The King will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ This is the foundation of this project for our residents who have a heart for serving others,” Langston said.

“Some residents of nursing homes and assisted living homes are viewed as less fortunate and unable to help others at this stage of their lives, but these residents feel that they still have so much to give. When presented with the opportunity to help those in need, the residents jumped at the chance!” said Langston.

Rick Couch, Christian City maintenance director with ties to an organization that feeds and ministers to the homeless in Atlanta, was quick to come on board to help with the project. He reached out to Broken Pieces Ministry about a partnership, and the ministry director, Joel Crumpton, thought it was a great opportunity to enrich the lives of senior residents as well the homeless. Broken Pieces provides a hot meal and ministry service to the homeless every Tuesday and Thursday. This has allowed them to build a relationship of trust and faith with the director and those who serve with him.

The seniors wanted to help serve a meal and also provide a gift that would help the homeless individuals know they are loved by these senior servants. Several of the men who regularly come for a meal at the location managed by Broken Pieces were asked to name a need that could be fulfilled by the Christian City senior residents. “Their answers were simple: a pair of waterproof boots, a bike and to eat a steak again!” said Couch.

In fact, five of the seven homeless men interviewed requested shoes: four pairs of waterproof boots and a good pair of tennis shoes. “None of the items requested were anything elaborate, just the basic needs of someone on the streets where walking is the main means of transportation,” said Couch.

PHOTO: Five residents of Christian City Assisted Living Center observe meal service as Christian City staff and Broken Pieces Ministry representatives serve a hot Chick-fil-A dinner to a group of homeless individuals in Atlanta.

On an evening in early March, the Atlanta Dream Center hosted Christian City residents and staff along with Broken Pieces to share a meal and their gifts for the homeless individuals. The group also shared in a service to shed light and hope for all in attendance.

Christian City staff members escorted the residents and assisted them with giving the purchased gifts. In addition to providing the boots, shoes and other requested items for the seven men interviewed, Christian City senior residents, along with their family members and staff, had prepared snack and hygiene bags to provide to the 50 homeless individuals who attended the night of the meal service.

PHOTO: Christian City staff members and Broken Pieces Ministry serve a hot Chick-fil-A dinner to a group of homeless individuals in Atlanta. The “Pruitt Health Committed to Caring” and “Second Wind Dreams” project fulfilled several Christian City Assisted Living Center residents’ dreams to be missionaries and help those in need.

The participating residents felt blessed to give back to those in need. Some of their comments were, “Believe in yourself. Don’t give up. If you believe, He will come into your heart.” Without a doubt, dreams were fulfilled, and servant hearts were made full through this effort to help someone in need.

About Christian City and Pruitt Health

Pruitt Health operates the 150-bed Assisted Living Center and 200-bed Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, located at Christian City in south metro Atlanta. The 500-acre campus also includes over 200 patio homes, more than 300 subsidized apartments, and many volunteer opportunities for active seniors. Pruitt Health’s on-site pharmacy, home health care, and hospice services complete the full continuum of care for seniors at Christian City.

Christian City Children’s Village continues to provide family-structured homes for children ages 5-17 who have been abused or abandoned. Since the first cottage opened on Valentine’s Day 1965, hundreds of children have lived and thrived at Christian City.

For more information about Christian City, visit christiancity.org. To learn more about Pruitt Health, visit pruitthealth.com.

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Renovations Revealed at Christian City Open House

(Union City, Ga – March 22, 2017) More than 300 people attended an open house on March 16th to celebrate renovations to the main floor of Christian City’s Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Assisted Living Center. 

More than 300 people attended an open house on March 16th to celebrate renovations to the main floor of Christian City’s Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Assisted Living Center. The crowd gathered in the newly renovated auditorium for a short program.

 
The 500-acre campus located on the south side of metro Atlanta in Union City is home to more than 1,000 seniors. Event attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and guided tours of the renovated main floor of the facilities.
Popular features of the new space include several new dining options, renovated and refurnished lobby areas, therapy rooms, offices, a library, chapel and 232-seat auditorium. Several smart TVs installed around the main floor broadcast activities, events and transportation schedules, dining menus, and other helpful information of interest to residents, patients, their families and guests.
 

Renovations included the addition of a ‘50s-style diner on the main floor.

A ‘50s-style diner, casual dining room, and separate formal dining room are now available on the main floor,” said Steve Sheets, Administrator of Christian City Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. “Our chef works with our dietician to offer a healthy menu with a variety of food choices for our Assisted Living residents, Skilled Nursing & Rehab patients and their families,” Sheets said. Table-side service will begin soon.

 

Dining options for residents and their families include the formal dining room, pictured above.

In addition to these three dining options on the main floor and meal service on each residential floor, residents and patients now have a full-service kitchen/dining room space that may be reserved by families to celebrate a special occasion with their family member in residence at Christian City. “We listened to the families of our residents and found that they desired a space to enjoy a home-cooked meal with their loved one without leaving Christian City,” said Hudie Langston, Administrator of Christian City Assisted Living Center. The special occasion space includesa full-service kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, built-in cabinets, a food service island, and a dining table with seating for eight. 
 

Families of Assisted Living residents and Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation patients now have a full-service kitchen/dining room space that may be reserved to celebrate a special occasion with their family member in residence at Christian City.

The outdoor courtyard, which is also furnished with plenty of tables and comfortable seating, is accessible from the special occasion kitchen/dining space and from the newly renovated auditorium. Programs ranging from live music and line dancing to educational and entertaining speakers take place in the auditorium. “Our residents enjoy a variety of activities and events, both on-campus and off-campus, that add to the vibrancy of senior life here,” said Len Romano, President and CEO of Christian City.

 
Spiritual life is also an important part of living at Christian City. “We have staff chaplains who, along with a group of dedicated volunteer chaplains, bring spiritual support to the residents of our communities,” said Carl Ryden, Chaplain and Chief Spiritual Care Officer. Christian City provides a variety of spiritual programming, including worship, Bible study and other special services in both the auditorium and newly renovated chapel.  “Residents attend from across the campus, including those who find it difficult to participate in off-campus activities at their own churches. Area churches provide a vital help by coming to Christian City to lead services for our residents”, said Ryden.

 

The main floor also includes a newly renovated and beautifully furnished library featuring not only a wide variety of books for residents to check out and comfortable spaces to gather and read, but four computers with internet connections are also available for use by residents. As guests toured the main floor during the open house event, they also took note of a series of eight “I am” statements gracing the renovated walls of the main floor. Serving as both artwork and core value statements, the series speaks to the Christ-centered values that have guided Christian City’s leaders since the organization’s founding in 1965 when the first cottage for eight homeless boys opened. The March 16, 2017, open house program opened with a short video highlighting the 52-year history of Christian City.

A newly renovated and beautifully furnished library features a wide variety of books for residents to check out and comfortable spaces to gather and read. Four computers with internet connections are also available for use by residents.

 
President and CEO, Len Romano, welcomed event guests and spoke about the company’s recent rebranding effort. “The fish at the center of our new logo points upward to heaven in honor of Jesus. In addition to symbolizing the Christian Trinity, the three leaves in our brand mark also indicate the unity and interconnectedness of our staff, residents and volunteers,” Romano said. “Christian City has had an amazing journey over the past 52 years. Who knows what’s next? We have a 500-acre campus and more than 200 acres are still undeveloped,” he said.
 
After fulfilling the community’s need for a children’s home in the mid-‘60s, the need for active senior housing, a nursing home, and assisted living center were fulfilled at Christian City over the next two decades. Fred Watson, current Board of Trustees member and leader during the building of the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in the ‘70s, shared with the crowd how the Center came to be built almost 40 years ago.
 
Watson shared a few little known facts about the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation building. “The blocks on the outside of the buildings were also being used in the construction of Peachtree Center in downtown Atlanta at the time,” Watson said. “Our architect was an associate with John Portman’s company, the builder of the Peachtree Center complex. These blocks were made in Asheville, North Carolina, especially for our building and Peachtree Center, and our architect was very particular about the color and quality of the materials.”
 

Fred Watson, current Christian City Board of Trustees member and leader during the building of the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in the ‘70s, shared with the crowd how the Center came to be built almost 40 years ago.

The general contractor for the nursing home had previously built a couple of notable structures in Georgia, according to Watson. “Our builder had not previously built a nursing home, but he did build the Scream Machine roller coaster at Six Flags over Georgia and Sanford Stadium at The University of Georgia,” Watson said.

 
Watson recalled touring the new space in 1978 with John Sparks, founder of Huddle House and friend of Christian City. Upon completion of the nursing home, Sparks provided all the necessary kitchen equipment at no cost to Christian City. The John and Polly Sparks Foundation has continued to support Christian City’s ministries over the years for both children and seniors. Brock Peyer spoke at the open house on behalf of the Foundation.
 
“We had no money, but we had a vision,” Watson said. “We received assistance from various church members and board members to secure financing. We did a lot of praying and we had faith,” Watson said. “I spent some of the best days of my life at Christian City,” he concluded.
 
Carl Ryden closed the program with a prayer of dedication for the renovated space. “Thank you for giving us the privilege of serving one another….may the unconditional love of Christ be found in and through the services provided here,” Ryden prayed.
 

Rehabilitation services include physical, speech and occupational therapies which are provided on an outpatient basis and for long term patients at Christian City.

Today, the Christian City Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is consistently ranked as one of the top nursing homes in the country. “We are pleased to have been included in US News & World Report’s list of best nursing homes for three consecutive years,” said Steve Sheets, Administrator of the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. “We are committed to providing quality care and rehabilitation for our patients, which also provides peace of mind for their families,” Sheets says.

 
During his remarks, Sheets thanked the companies and key individuals involved in managing the $5 million renovation project: General contractor, Choate Construction’s John Schrader, Dean Pye and Alex Duer; Sharon Foley and Mara Neuman with Foley Design; and Nicole Frazier and Chuck Brown with Pruitt Health’s Planning and Development department.
 
Last, but not least, Sheets thanked the Director of Facilities Management at Christian City, John Kimmons, for overseeing the 11-month renovation project. Kimmons received a standing ovation in honor of his upcoming retirement on March 31 after 40 years of employment at Christian City, serving first as a house parent in the ‘70s.
 
In 2009, Christian City partnered with Pruitt Health to operate the 150-bed Assisted Living Center and 200-bed Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, which are owned by Christian City. The 500-acre campus also includes over 200 patio homes, subsidized apartments and many volunteer opportunities for active seniors. With the addition of Pruitt Health’s on-site pharmacy, home health care, and hospice services, the full continuum of care for seniors was made complete at Christian City. Christian City Children’s Village continues to provide family-structured homes for children ages 5-17 who have been abused or abandoned.
 
For more information about Christian City, visit christiancity.org. To learn more about Pruitt Health, visit pruitthealth.com.
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Open House at Christian City on March 16

If you’re like most people who live or work on the south side of metro Atlanta, you have heard of Christian City. Some know about the 52-year-old nonprofit’s mission to care for abused and abandoned children, while others know Christian City as a faith-based senior living community. To celebrate newly completed renovations to the Assisted Living Center and Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Christian City is hosting an open house on Thursday, March 16, from 4-7pm. The public is invited to attend.

From humble beginnings on land donated by Dr. Byron and Rose Marie Harper, Christian City has grown far beyond the original ministry started by a group of dedicated individuals associated with Christian churches in the area. Opened in 1965 on Valentine’s Day, Christian City began with one cottage for eight boys in need of a safe and loving home. The campus now covers 500 acres and is home to nearly 1,000 senior adults in addition to the Children’s Village, which includes four family-structured homes for 32 children ages 5-17. In 2017, Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked Christian City in the top 100 nonprofit organizations in metro Atlanta.

Only three CEOs have led Christian City over the past five decades. Bob Puckett and Bob Crutchfield each served more than 20 years at the helm before Len Romano came on board as President and CEO in December 2015 after a 34-year career with YMCA, most recently as CEO of YMCA of Greater Omaha. Working with the 27-member volunteer Board of Trustees, Romano has developed strategic goals to plan for the future of Christian City.

Over the past year, a development study, rebranding effort and website redesign have been completed. “Christian City has evolved over the years from its start as a children’s home to its current mission: to extend Christ’s call to love your neighbor through housing, health care and crisis intervention for children, families and older adults,” Romano says. “Christian City envisions a world where the most vulnerable among us have a safe home and loving community, which enables them to thrive,” he says.

Collaborations with other non-profit organizations serving the community, such as Fayette Senior Services, Coweta Community Foundation, Clothes Less Traveled, Midwest Food Bank, Southside Rotary Clubs, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, and Newnan-Coweta Chamber are helping Christian City more efficiently and effectively serve children, seniors and families.

For example, Christian City is one of the sponsors of a new van operated by Fayette Senior Services to transport seniors who no longer drive to doctor appointments, the pharmacy, etc. As a part of the sponsorship, new Christian City branding is displayed on the rear of the van. “A fresh green color palette and the theological symbolism of the fish in the brand mark are two highlights of our new branding,” says Rhonda Silvis, Director of Marketing & Communications. “Christian City’s promise is to provide life-changing hope through faith, community and care. Our new brand speaks to that promise,” she says.

“Christian City means so much to so many people,” says Romano. “I’ve enjoyed meeting the youth and senior adult residents who live at Christian City. When they reflect on how Christian City has enriched their lives, I am humbled by their stories and compelled by my faith to serve Christian City for the benefit of future generations,” he says.

Romano’s first addition to the executive leadership team, LaVann Landrum, was named Chief Development Officer in 2016. With a varied non-profit management background in child advocacy, health care, higher education and the arts, Landrum is leading Christian City’s fundraising and development initiatives. “We are working to expand funding to meet growing community needs to care for children and seniors,” says Landrum. “Faithful community support has always been the key to Christian City’s ability to fulfill the organization’s vision and mission. We are grateful to our many supporters, including the employees of Delta Air Lines and Georgia Power as well as churches throughout metro Atlanta and organizations like the Whitehead Foundation for helping us to grow our programs,” she says.

House parents of today and yesterday stay in touch with the hundreds of children who came to live at Christian City over the years. They delight in their visits in person and enjoy seeing social media posts about their “kids” who are now adults with families of their own. A 2015 high school graduate recently said, “If not for my house parents, Mom and Dad Cater, and the Children’s Village, I don’t know where I would be. They were our real family.” He is now working part time at a hospital and attending college pursuing a degree in physical therapy. “I don’t know how I could ever repay the Caters for what they did for us. The only thing I know to do is to try to make something of myself. They taught me to let my past be my past, and to not let it define my future,” he says.

Just as the community need for a children’s home was fulfilled in the mid-‘60s, the need for active senior housing and a convalescent home in the area was fulfilled at Christian City in the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Construction of an assisted living center and subsidized senior apartments followed over the next two decades.

Today, the Christian City Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is consistently ranked as one of the top nursing homes in the country. “We are pleased to be included in US News & World Report’s list of best nursing homes for three consecutive years,” says Steve Sheets, Administrator of the Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. “We are committed to providing quality long-term care and rehabilitation for our patients, which also provides peace of mind for their families,” Sheets says.

Christian City was ranked in 2017 as the 4th largest retirement community in metro Atlanta by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. While many of the first retirees to relocate to Christian City had lived on the south side of metro Atlanta their entire lives, seniors moving to Christian City today are coming from all over the country. Proximity to the Atlanta airport is a draw for those who enjoy traveling in retirement.

“Carefree living, an active lifestyle and community of faith are what most of our senior patio home residents are seeking,” says Ken White, Director of Home Sales and Resident Programs. “Our active Arts Alliance group and campus recreation program add to the vibrancy of senior living here,” he says.

Margaret Speir, a patio home resident at Christian City for 35 years, moved from Mountain View, which is the present location of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. She recently celebrated her 100th birthday. “We chose our home based on the location, but now we love it because of the people,” says Speir’s neighbor and 11-year resident, Beverly Bryant.

In 2009, Christian City partnered with Pruitt Health to operate the Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers owned by Christian City. With the addition of Pruitt Health’s on-site pharmacy, home health care, and hospice services, the full continuum of care for seniors was made complete at Christian City.

The Christian City open house on Thursday, March 16, from 4-7pm, is open to the public. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres and guided tours of the main floor of the Assisted Living Center and Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, located at 7300 Lester Road in Union City, just 9 miles south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. A short program will be presented at 5:30pm. Please RSVP to Beth Campbell at bethc@christiancity.org or 770-355-5766. For more information about Christian City, visit christiancity.org.

PHOTO: Christian City recently co-sponsored a new Fayette Senior Services (FSS) van used to transport seniors who no longer drive to doctor appointments, dialysis treatments and pharmacy prescription pick-ups. Pictured from left are Jeff Wix, FSS Transportation Manager; Nancy Meaders, FSS President & CEO; along with Christian City leadership and staff including Len Romano, President & CEO; Ken White, Director of Home Sales & Resident Programs; LaVann Landrum, Chief Development Officer, Herschel Willoughby, Hospice Community Relations; Connie Hall, Volunteer Coordinator; Hannah Haddock, Home Care Community Relations; Beth Campbell, Assisted Living Admissions Director; and Rosalyn Lett, Skilled Nursing & Rehab Admissions Director.

 

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National Safe Place Week Celebrates Safe Place Program for Youth- Christian City Children’s Village Operates Local Safe Place program

Union City, GA (March 7, 2017)—National Safe Place Network (NSPN) is excited to announce March 19-25, 2017 as National Safe Place Week.  This nationally recognized week serves to increase awareness about the Safe Place program, which partners with businesses, civic organizations and volunteers to provide safety and shelter for youth ages 7 to 17 who are experiencing abuse, neglect, bullying or serious family problems.

“Safe Place is a licensed runaway and homelessness prevention and education program that works to offer practical solutions and assistance to youth who find themselves in a crisis and in harm’s way,” states Mark Andrews, Safe Place Program Director with Christian City Children’s Village in Union City. “National Safe Place Week is a great opportunity for individuals and communities in our area to be made aware of the enormous needs of youth in crisis.”

It is estimated that more than one million youth run away from home each year due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn.

Safe Place consists of a national network of nearly 20,000 partnering businesses and community locations – such as fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, fire stations, public buses and libraries – that display the Safe Place sign in their windows. As youth enter the designated Safe Places and ask for help, trained staff members connect them to the appropriate youth shelter for assistance. National Safe Place Week recognizes participating Safe Place locations and volunteers for their unwavering dedication to the safety and wellbeing of at-risk youth.

The Safe Place program, operated locally by Christian City Children’s Village partners with QuikTrip convenience stores, local fire stations, law enforcement agencies and recreation centers throughout metro Atlanta to provide immediate safety and support for local youth.

“We help identify, recover and reunite children and their families all across metro Atlanta who are runaway and homeless,” says Philip Kouns, COO of Christian City Children’s Village and board member of the National Safe Place program. “The Crisis Intervention Cottage at Christian City Children’s Village, located in South Fulton County, provides immediate safe shelter for the child as we address issues at the earliest stage of a crisis,” says Kouns.

The Safe Place program has helped more than 330,000 youth since its inception in 1983, and currently serves more than 1,400 communities across the country. It is managed by 133 youth agencies in 37 states and the District of Columbia.

In addition to Safe Place sites, youth may also access immediate help via TXT 4 HELP, a text-for-support service for youth in crisis. Teens can text the word “safe” and their current location (address, city, state) to 69866 and receive a message with the closest Safe Place location and the number for the local youth shelter. Users also have the option to text interactively with a mental health professional for more help.

About National Safe Place Network

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) provides quality training and technical support for youth and family service organizations across the country. Along with being a leading membership organization offering tailored organizational development, training and professional development packages, NSPN also operates the nationally-recognized programs Safe Place, Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC), and Human Trafficking: Recognition, Respect, Response (HTR3). To learn more, please visit www.nspnetwork.org or www.nationalsafeplace.org.

About The Children’s Village

Since 1965, Christian City Children’s Village, located on the southwest side of Atlanta, has provided a safe haven for children who have been abandoned, abused or are otherwise homeless. Children ages 5-18 live in cottages with full-time house parents, where concentrated efforts are put forth to heal their wounded spirits and break the cycle of abuse they have endured. A warm home, healthy meals, clean clothing, quality education, necessary counseling, and a lot of loving care are provided to the children who come to the campus. Some children stay for a short time, while others spend their entire childhoods at Christian City Children’s Village.

About Christian City

Christian City was established 52 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day, 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and senior adults, living on the 500-acre Christian City campus located 15 minutes south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The beautifully wooded campus includes the Children’s Village, a thrift store, four neighborhoods of patio homes and four subsidized apartment buildings for active senior residents, a 150-bed Assisted Living Center, 200-bed Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and two specialty units for victims of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. An array of amenities, activities and services such as on-site Pharmacy, Home Care and Hospice Care are also available for residents of Christian City. For more information, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-974-3301.

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Owens Corning–Fairburn Supports The Children’s Village at Christian City

(January 23, 2017 – Union City, Ga) On behalf of the Owens Corning Foundation, representatives of Owens Corning–Fairburn presented a check for $5,000 to support the ongoing needs of victims of child abuse and abandonment who now live safely at The Children’s Village at Christian City in Union City.

Photo: Representatives of Owens Corning–Fairburn present a $5,000 donation to The Children’s Village at Christian City. Front row (from left), Lisa Anderson, Human Resources Leader; Eric Crump, Plant Leader; Philip Kouns, Chief Operating Officer of The Children’s Village; and Ashley Bonner, Christian City Director of Development. Back row, Christopher Zins, Furnace Engineer; and Jalisa Arnold, Crew Person.

About The Children’s Village at Christian City

Since 1965, The Children’s Village at Christian City, has provided a safe haven for children who have been abandoned, abused or are otherwise homeless. Children ages 5-18 live in cottages with full-time house parents, where concentrated efforts are put forth to heal their wounded spirits and break the cycle of abuse they have endured. A warm home, healthy meals, clean clothing, quality education, necessary counseling, and a lot of loving care are provided to the children who come to the campus. Some children stay for a short time, while others spend their entire childhoods at The Children’s Village at Christian City. The campus is also a licensed National Safe Place agency dedicated to helping runaway and homeless youth.

About Christian City

Christian City is a non-denominational, non-profit organization established almost 52 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day in 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents living on the 500-acre Christian City campus, located on the southwest side of Atlanta between Fairburn and Fayetteville. The community includes The Children’s Village, patio homes for active seniors, apartments for seniors on limited incomes, a thrift store, a 200-bed skilled nursing & rehabilitation center, a 150-bed assisted living center, and two specialty units for victims of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For more information, to donate or volunteer, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-964-3301.

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Georgia Power Employees Volunteer at Christian City on MLK Day

PHOTO: Jasmine Bell (left) and Magda Gonzales volunteered to spread mulch on the playground of The Children’s Village at Christian City on MLK Day. Photo by Larry Regier

For many Georgia Power employees, the federal holiday to honor the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is “A Day On, Not a Day Off.” 28 employees from Georgia Power’s Metro South Region arrived at Christian City early Monday morning to serve the children and senior adults who live on the 500-acre Christian City campus in Union City, just south of the Atlanta Airport.

According to volunteer team leader and Atlanta native, David Herring, the program is facilitated through the Citizens of Georgia Power group, which encourages employees to sign up to volunteer in the community throughout the year. “We have ten different projects going on throughout the Metro South Region today,” Herring said.

Christian City President and CEO, Len Romano, welcomed the volunteers and expressed his gratitude for their choice to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King by serving at Christian City. “Dr. King made a difference not just in the United States, but around the world,” Romano said. “Through your volunteer service at Christian City, you are helping us provide life-changing hope for the victims of child abuse and the hundreds of senior adults who live on our campus.”

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PHOTO: Rodney Jenkins, a member of the Georgia Power employee volunteer group, helped with construction of a tool shed in the Community Garden at Christian City. Photo by Larry Regier

According to Connie Hall, Christian City’s volunteer coordinator, this is the twelfth year that a group from Georgia Power has volunteered on the Christian City campus. “You are our life savers,” she said in welcoming the employees.

The volunteers divided into three groups to assist with playground landscaping at the Children’s Village, finishing a shed in the community garden, and taking inventory at a storage facility on the Christian City campus. Several employees brought their children along for hands-on learning about the importance of serving in the community.

Bill Davenport, Georgia Power’s Metro South Area Manager and member of the Christian City Board of Trustees, commented, “We are citizens where we serve at Georgia Power, and this group is pleased to serve Christian City on our “Day On, Not a Day Off” on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2017.”

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PHOTO: Georgia Power Metro South Area Manager, Bill Davenport (left), leads the way for a group of employees taking “A Day On, Not a Day Off” on MLK Day by volunteering at Christian City. From left, Tonya Stephens, Brenda Dill and Trichita Mitchell assist Davenport with inventory and organization of a storage facility. Photo by Larry Regier

About Christian City
Christian City is a non-denominational, non-profit organization established more than 50 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day in 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents living at Christian City, which has grown to more than 500 acres. The campus now includes the Children’s Village, four subdivisions of patio homes for active senior adults, four subsidized apartment complexes for seniors, a thrift store, a 150-bed assisted living/personal care home, a 200-bed rehabilitation and nursing center, and two specialty units for victims of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Christian City is located in Union City, nine miles south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. For more information, to donate or volunteer, visit www.christiancity.org or call 770-964-3301.

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Pyke & Associates Donates $2,000 to Christian City

Photo: From left, Charles Pyke, owner of Pyke & Associates, and Suzanne Presley, Pyke & Associates Partner and Christian City Board of Trustees member, present a $2,000 donation to Philip Kouns, Chief Operating Officer of The Children’s Village at Christian City.

Union City, Ga – To encourage community engagement with charitable organizations, Stockbridge estate planning law firm, Pyke & Associates, initiated a social media charity challenge in October. Participating charities submitted a photo for posting on the Pyke & Associates Facebook page. The charity then encouraged their staff, volunteers and supporters to vote for their charity by going to the Pyke & Associates page and liking the posted photo. The three charities with the most votes received donations from Pyke & Associates in December. A check for $2,000 to Christian City was presented to Chief Operating Officer, Philip Kouns, during an open house event at the law firm.

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