Category Archives: Peoplestown: The Place

Judge Clinton E. Deveaux

Emmaus House was what that was about. There was a food bank that was based here, the Welfare Rights program was based here, the Poverty Rights office was based here, the school programs, after-school programs, there was a daycare program here for kids. Read more »

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Charles “Tony” Foster

Some of them just relocated. Some of them moved, where I don’t know. There were a lot of elderly people back then so lot of them just passed on and their family just went their way. They basically took people’s houses. I’m just being honest with you. Read more »

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A person’s hand print (part 2)

Then, for maybe two or three Saturdays, I would stand out on the street and anyone who would walk by, I’d say, “Would you help me paint this wall? You can have this square.” All the squares were already painted, [but] I said, “what color square would you like to have?” They’d say, “Oh I like the blue one.” And I’d say, “Well, what color would you like your hand?” Read more »

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Margaret Griggs

Margaret GriggsSee I don’t know what Father gets me into, get me into something. And he the one got me into that running for the [Atlanta] School Board. I was sitting here tending to my own business, the phone rang, he on the other end and says, “Margaret.” I said, “Father, yes, what do you want?” Because I know there’s something up. He said, “Oh, don’t you want to run for the school board?” I said, “Do what?” He said, “Don’t you want to run for the school board?” I said, “Not necessarily.” Read more »

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Charlotta Bright Norby

I was very young when I was [worked at Emmaus House], and I was Danish, so I learned an awful lot, and it was very exciting to me to be here. Not only did I learn about Emmaus House and how Emmaus House worked, but also about America and about poverty and about race relations. And it was really exciting to me. I learned a lot, and it has had an incredible impact on my life since then. Read more »

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A person’s hand print (part 1)

hand printColumbus Ward was the one that said, “That bus stop out there, that wall is atrocious.”  Well, he didn’t use the word atrocious, but he said it’s really awful—something needs to be done to help clean that up. Read more »

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Ann Fowler

Ann FowlerThe pattern to our day was that around 2 o’clock, the intern that was at Emmaus House and I would walk down to the elementary school there in the neighborhood. It was important to me that we have a “walking school bus.” We would go down [and] pick up the kids, [and] walk back up to Emmaus House. I thought it was important for the community to see that this is something that Emmaus House is doing in the community. Also, the kids knew the community, but it was good for me to be a presence out there and to see the other folks that are on the streets. Read more »

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Ray Quinnelly

Ray QuinnellyThe Poverty Rights Office was in-your-face advocacy done by upper-middle class white ladies who did not have any patience—they did not suffer fools kindly, let’s say—with anybody that was going to yank the poor around. Read more »

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Austin Ford

Father Austin FordThe place was a terrible wreck. It had been a sort of flophouse for alcoholics. There were signs on the doors saying, “Two dollars a night” and things like that. And I remember Sister Mary Joseph—later she became Sister Mary Rose—[chuckles] she had to have a cigar to clean out the place, there was such an awful smell. Anyway, we all went there, and then there was a Moravian seminary student who came. So the four of us went there, moved in and just waited to see what would happen. Read more »

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Mimi (Sister Marie) Bodell

You know what was really touching? The night during the election [of President Barack Obama]. . . .I can’t tell you how many Emmaus House volunteers called me and then I called one or two saying, “Can you believe it? Did you ever think we would live to see this day?” We were all connected at that election, forty years later. Someone called me and said, “Well, you must feel that your work is really done now.” . . . I thought it was also unbelievable that all of us, like ten of us or more, were all on the phone with each other. We don’t see each other that much, but there was no time difference. It was just this moment, and there was this feeling that all our work had helped elect our first African American president. We were bursting with pride for our new president. Read more »

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