Frontline Housing aims to create low barrier housing opportunities for families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Frontline Housing’s Motel to Home Program seeks to move 365 metro Atlanta families to permanent housing in 2023 by providing financial support and well-being workshops.

“We are at about 150 families housed so far, a little ahead of pace,” said founder and executive director of Frontline Housing, Mary Grace King. “Families find themselves living in motels for different reasons. A lot of them are housing barriers – low credit, eviction, household size, move-in costs. We work with them to reduce those barriers and find permanent housing.” 

Eligible families have lived in a motel for at least 30 days, have school-age children, verifiable income and identification. The nonprofit provides $1,000 in move-in fees and $500/month for four months. 

“Families save $250 of that $500 and attend one financial workshop each month to build emergency savings,” King said. “Families are dying to know about credit and how to buy a house.” 

Korrinne Allen and her three children (ages 20, 17, and 14) landed in a motel after their apartment was destroyed by a fire.

“I just moved here from California two years ago,” Allen said. “The fire was heartbreaking. We lost our memories and our cat.”

Despite two years of paying rent, Allen’s landlord wouldn’t rent her another unit because of her credit score. Thankfully, Red Cross connected her to Frontline Housing. 

Partners, from left: Corby Hannah (Housing Plus), Joy Monroe (Single Parent Alliance & Resource Center), Phillip Hunter (Community Restoration Project), Mary Grace King (Frontline Housing).

“Within 2 months, I had a place that is cleaner and nicer,” Allen said.  Her former apartment had mold and a persistent water leak.  

Allen paid $1,600 a month at the motel but now has an apartment at $1,463.

“My credit score and working for a temp agency was holding us back,” Allen said.  Her new landlord recognized “we had the income. Me and my two daughters have jobs.” 

Frontline Housing partners with providers like Single Parent Alliance & Resource Center (SPARC).

“Working together helps us ensure that our families receive high quality effective programs,” said Joy Monroe, director at SPARC. “Frontline is an incredible partner that helps us support families in their transition from homelessness to stably housed.” 

Veronica Dobnye, her significant other, and her daughter traveled from Chicago to Atlanta for a “new start” and lived in a motel for six months. Thanks to Frontline Housing, she moved into her new apartment in March 2023. After attending the tenant’s rights workshop, she felt confident about her lease. 

“It gave me a little more hope that I do have help,” Dobnye said. “It’s a good program to be in – to help people move into an apartment. It’s kind of hard out here.”

“When people picture homelessness – they picture someone on the street asking for food or change,” King said. “I would love for people to know that these are really hard working families who want more for their kids and their future.” 

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Clare S. Richie is a freelance writer and public policy specialist based in Atlanta.