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Rainbow Village celebrates 20 years of helping the homeless

DULUTH -- Rainbow Village's career has been a meaningful one as they have served more than 700 individuals in north metro Atlanta since 1991.

Beginning as an outreach ministry of Christ Episcopal Church of Norcross, the nonprofit organization now is a model program for aiding the homeless.

If you go

• What: Rainbow Village’s 20th Anniversary Gala: “Puttin’ on the Glitz”

• When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Atlanta Athletic Club, 1930 Bobby Jones Drive, Johns Creek

• Cost: $125 per ticket, registration ended Oct. 10

• For more information: Visit rainbowvillage.org

"We're looking behind a little, but we're really looking forward to help that next generation," said Nancy Yancey, CEO of Rainbow Village.

Located in Duluth, Rainbow Village really does embrace the philosophy that it "takes a village." The organization offers a traditional housing program that provides lodging for homeless families with children.

Volunteers donate home furnishings, assist adults with job training, offer assistance in the after school program and provide meals. Most of the continuous funds supporting Rainbow Village come from churches and civic groups, yet the annual gala provides significant funding to back the initiatives and goals.

This year's gala is Saturday at the Atlanta Athletic Club and Rainbow Village will commemorate their 20th anniversary. Although the gala's theme, "Puttin' On The Glitz," promises a high-class evening, the heart of the event will be reflected in Steven Jackson's message.

Jackson, the keynote speaker, was 16-years-old when his parents and his three younger siblings lived at Rainbow Village. Sandra Cathy, Rainbow Village's Chief Development Officer, reflects on Jackson's success.

"We work diligently for one to two years with our families at Rainbow Village to really bring them out of the vicious cycle that they've been in. While we do find a lot of success with the adults, we realize our opportunity for greater success lies in the kids. Steven Jackson is a shining example of that," Cathy said.

Jackson, 30, is CEO of Created Jus 4 You, a video editing company. He will discuss how life at Rainbow Village drastically changed how he viewed his future.

"He really did decide to pay it forward. He has done it his whole career and he is doing it now as CEO of his own company," Cathy said.

Overall, the gala's goal is to raise money for their newly launched Capital Campaign, which will allow Rainbow Village to triple the number of families it can serve at one time. In the next five years, a new campus will be built in Duluth that will support and house 30 families. There will even be a daycare center, a community center and a resident support center.

As Rainbow Village looks to the future for expansion and progression, it hopes to make an even bigger community impact. For more information about Rainbow Village visit their website at rainbowvillage.org.