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Rainbow Village breaks ground on latest apartment building

Board members and supporters of Rainbow Village, representatives of HomeAid Atlanta and local dignitaries participated in a groundbreaking in Duluth on Thursday for a new six-unit apartment building for Rainbow Village, which supports homeless families in transition. (Staff Photo: Keith Farner)

Board members and supporters of Rainbow Village, representatives of HomeAid Atlanta and local dignitaries participated in a groundbreaking in Duluth on Thursday for a new six-unit apartment building for Rainbow Village, which supports homeless families in transition. (Staff Photo: Keith Farner)

DULUTH — A success story from Rainbow Village, a woman who identified herself as Maureen, praised the organization and said it shouldn’t stop at one more apartment complex.

“I wish we could make Duluth all Rainbow Village,” she said. “Put buildings everywhere.”

Maureen, who graduated from Rainbow Village three years ago this month, is now a job coach at Goodwill and has reached one goal of giving back to the community that helped her.

Maureen was one of several speakers on Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony at Rainbow Village in Duluth where the organization, its supporters and construction partners signaled the start of its newest building. Construction is set to begin on the organization’s third six-unit apartment building that will add about 36 beds for homeless families in transition.

The project, which costs $450,000, will be led by Mike Smith of Harcrest Homes on behalf of HomeAid Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that was formed to address homelessness in metro Atlanta. Smith is a “builder captain” for HomeAid Atlanta who will coordinate nearly 30 companies who have combined to donate about $100,000 in construction costs to the project.

“It’s really their generosity that makes it possible for us to do this,” Smith said.

The funding that covers Rainbow Village’s $350,000 portion comes from the Hudgens Foundation and the Federal Home Loan Bank that partners with Brand Bank.

Its expected to be completed in the next few months so families can move in by late spring.

“It makes me very pleased to participate in this project,” Smith said.

The facility’s other two apartment buildings and family service center were completed in April 2012; the new addition is the third and final phase of Rainbow Village’s “Building Strong Communities … One Family at a Time” campaign. A 21,000 square foot community center currently under construction is also expected to open at about the same time as the new apartment building.

“It’s a live, work, play community,” CEO Rev. Nancy Yancey said.

The addition is a 50 percent increase in families service by Rainbow Village, and at the end of the campaign, the organization will serve 30 families.

Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris said Rainbow Village, “gives children hope, it allows children to dream for a better life, and a home. What a blessing this has been for Duluth.”

“This program gives dignity to these people,” Harris said. “It allows them to grow and improve so when they leave, they can be successful.”

Added Maureen, “It gives children hope, well, it gives adults hope, too.”