CHRIS 180 Hosts Grand Opening Of Center of Excellence for Training, Education and Connections

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

CHRIS 180, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization dedicated to healing children and families with holistic, trauma informed health services, hosted a grand opening for its Center of Excellence for Training, Education and Connections Tuesday, July 23. The 20,000 square foot Center, located at 1030 Fayetteville Road SE, will serve as an updated, multi-purpose facility for CHRIS 180’s CHRIS Training Institute, Adoptions and Keeping Families Together programs, a ropes course for therapeutic activities as well as corporate team building, and administrative offices.  As a result of the Center, CHRIS 180 will expand counseling through the CHRIS Counseling Center and more than double its footprint from serving 6,500 people in 2016 to over 14,000 in 2020.

“We believe every person should be treated with dignity and respect and that each individual should have access to high quality trauma informed services, so being able to more than double our capacity and extend our services to those with need is a huge achievement and very exciting.,” said CHRIS 180 CEO Kathy Colbenson.  “We are so very grateful to the philanthropic community for their investment in our mission.”

The EarthCraft Platinum certified Center of Excellence broke ground last year thanks to the completion of the Turning Point Capital campaign, which raised over fifteen million dollars to expand trauma training, professional development for the human service workforce, counseling, and other services in the Metro area.  The campaign enabled CHRIS 180 to not only complete the construction of the Center, but also to purchase homes in the neighborhood and create a health-care focused partnership, which will yield the following services:

  • Homes for high need youth in foster care, with specialized homes for siblings in foster care

  • A duplex to focus on innovative family preservation services to strengthen families and to provide assessments for high need children in foster care

  • Upgrades to CHRIS 180’s Summit Trail Apartments for young adults who are homeless or aging out of foster care

  • An integrated health clinic in partnership with Mercy Care to provide physical and behavioral health services in the area, which is expected to open in late 2019

“In the state of Georgia alone, there are 10,000 children in foster care who also have a sibling in foster care and only 30 percent of these siblings live together,” said Colbenson. “We are grateful the State supports CHRIS 180’s innovation in creating more homes for siblings and, we are so grateful for the support of donors who helped us create more homes for siblings.  And, for donors who support our efforts to help strengthen families so that children can remain safely with their own families and avoid foster care.  Ultimately, our efforts are focused on building community by enabling children and families to live in safe homes and receive trauma informed services and healthcare.”

“I am very proud to have worked with CHRIS 180 to support this initiative,” said Cyril Turner, Co-Chair of the Turning Point Capital Campaign. “The Center of Excellence and CHRIS 180’s programs will continue to provide fundamental services for children, young adults, families, and even corporations. Together, we’re working to improve our communities and our neighborhoods by investing in the lives of residents.”

Attendees at the Grand Opening included Dekalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, Carmen Chubb, Chief of Staff for Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms leadership from CHRIS 180’s Board of Directors and more than 150 guests, including Atlanta elected officials.