Moving Into the Old Fourth Ward - 02/19/15

"For those of you who don’t live in metro Atlanta, the Old Fourth Ward is located on the eclectic Eastside and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Atl. It’s home to historic architecture, fun shops, up-and-coming restaurants... and the highest concentration of poverty in the southeastern region of the United States."

  

In the past year, you may have heard us talk a lot about the Old Fourth Ward and our work in this neighborhood. For those of you who don’t live in metro Atlanta, the Old Fourth Ward is located on the eclectic Eastside and is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the Atl. It’s home to historic architecture, fun shops, up-and-coming restaurants... and the highest concentration of poverty in the southeastern region of the United States. Shocked? Yeah, I was too. The O4W has the largest population of section-8 housing in our region. The average household income is $3,000.00 annually. Some residents pay as little as $12.00/month for rent and out of 700 housing units only 25 have a male presence.

These statistics really only scratch the surface of the devastating conditions my neighbors live in. Drugs, violence, prostitution, gang-activity, sex trafficking, malnutrition, and neglect are just a few of the daily realities our kids are faced with. I moved here a little over a year ago and I have seen first hand and can testify that this neighborhood desperately needs attention, support, and the love of the Church. 

Urban Soccer Director, Adrienne Saxon, had the desire to extend our reach to the O4W a little over a year ago and has been conducting soccer clinics for the past 6 months. With in the first month, 50 kids were showing up every week to hear about Christ and learn how to play soccer. We were able establish a partnership with local church, Blueprint, to supply volunteers. This Spring Season, we are welcoming FOUR new teams from the O4W into our league-family. This is an enormous step for us, not only as a soccer league, but also as missionaries and stewards of the Gospel! We take our work very seriously and know that we have been entrusted with some very special hearts. 

We look back to where we started and are in awe of God's faithfulness. We look forward with expecting hearts, anticipating God to use our humble efforts for His glory. 

By

Samantha Walton

FCA Urban Soccer Assistant Director