Lucy Hall Gainer saw a need for a woman’s homeless shelter to provide addiction treatment and job counseling. She took a gift of $5,000 and did something about it. She is truly a woman worth her salt.
Lucy Hall Gainer, a former drug abuse counselor was looking for a job in Atlanta and saw an add in the paper for a job at a womans homeless shelter. She found that everybody there had an addiction to drugs, had mental problems,or domestic violence issues. They were allowed to stay at the shelter for 90 days and then had to leave. There was no counseling or help in finding jobs and living quarters. Nothing was done to help these women step back into the work force and resume a normal life.
In 1996 with the help of a local business man who gave her $5,000, she opened a residential treatment program called “Mary Hall Freedom House.” She first came to Sandy Springs and rented an apartment to start the program. Lucy Hall Gainer said she thought these women should see what they were aspiring to.”If you never see better, how are you going to do better?”
She now has a program in downtown Atlanta called “Trinity Hall,” which is a housing program for women and children for up to 90 days to come in and be assessed for what they need. That is a beginning to an end.
Higher Ground, located in Sandy Springs is for 60 homeless women who are single and homeless. There they have a treatment center, community housing, and independent housing. Women who successfully graduate from the treatment program and job counseling can live there independently when they secure a job.
Gainer says she hopes for the time when Mary Hall Freedom House can offer child care 24/7 because these women get jobs at night and on weekends. She said the thing that holds the whole thing together is love. “Our motto is,”We will love you until you learn to love yourself.” In January she received the Martin Luther King Jr.Humanitarian Award from the city of Sandy Springs. She is the founder and chief executive of the residential treatment program.