Rainbow Village to expand with second
gift from Hudgens
Special to GwinnettForum
NORCROSS, Ga., Oct. 24, 2008 -- It's been 11 years since Nancy
Yancey first sat with developer and humanitarian Scott Hudgens to
discuss the work of Rainbow Village, the transitional housing program
for homeless families of which Yancey was executive director.
Learning that the non-profit rented properties housing program
beneficiaries from Georgia Power, Hudgens was distressed. "For
Rainbow Village to succeed, you have to own something," he
"We agree," Yancey responded, "but it isn't financially
It was what happened next that would change everything. Within
a year's time, because of a gift of $500,000 from Scott and Jacqueline
Hudgens, Rainbow Village did own something -- an eight-unit apartment
complex in Duluth.
During its now 17 years of operation, homeless families have found
not only shelter at Rainbow Village, but wings. Participants are
carefully screened for admittance and expected to follow a one-
to two-year self-sufficiency plan. While residing in one of Rainbow
Village's furnished homes, heads of household attend mandatory twice-weekly
classes in subjects ranging from home and financial management to
job interview skills, while their children are involved in stellar
after-school and summer activities.
Case managers monitor progress, oversee budgets, and interact with
local educational and legal institutions to ensure the safe, stable
development of their children and adolescent residents.
Over 90 percent of the "graduates" of the program have
broken the cycles of poverty, domestic violence and homelessness.
Their lives are transformed by the experience at Rainbow Village.
Former Duluth mayor Shirley Lasseter, when asked about Rainbow Village,
commented, "[They] just quietly keep on doing God's work."
The same can be said for the Hudgens family. But neither they nor
Rainbow Village are so quiet today.
Since that initial conversation in 1997, many things have changed.
Mr. Hudgens died in 2000. Nancy Yancey, still the executive director
of Rainbow Village, is also now the Rev, Nancy Yancey, assigned
to Christ Episcopal Church, where Rainbow Village first began as
an outreach ministry. And over 200 more families have benefited
from the programs and services of Rainbow Village.
But the needs haven't changed-they've grown. The credit and mortgage
crises have only increased the numbers calling.
After prayerful consideration, plans were set into motion for expanding
Rainbow Village-to build an all-inclusive campus, a "true"
village of 30 apartments, classroom facilities, and administrative
offices where three times as many families could be served concurrently.
When a tract of land in Duluth came on the market, those plans seemed
ordained. But there were a couple of obstacles: 1) the property
needed to be rezoned and 2) once again, it wasn't financially feasible.
But obstacles are only obstacles until they're removed. On September
22, 2008, the Duluth City Council voted unanimously for rezoning
of the land so that Rainbow Village could construct its dream there.
And then, last week, through another gift of $500,000 from the Hudgens
Family Foundation, Rainbow Village purchased the property in Duluth
and became the owner of yet another "something." Construction
is expected to begin in 2010.
The Hudgens legacy at Rainbow Village continues.
For additional information on Rainbow Village,
or get in touch with Nancy Yancey, executive director, 400 Holcomb
Bridge Road, Norcross, Ga. 30071, or by phone at 770-446-3800 ext
Two new local history books are available
to buy now
Editor and Publisher
OCT. 24, 2008 -- Two recently-published books will be well-received
by those interested in local history. Both are now available for
purchase, should sell well and will make nice Christmas presents.
The Gwinnett Historical Society has re-printed the massive large-format
hardback book, Gwinnett County, Georgia: Families, 1818-2005.
Just look at the figures about this book:
- 1,171 pages.
- 461 family histories.
- 324 photographs.
- 214 authors.
- 42,917 index references, including 39,439 names.
Again, note the number of individuals mentioned in this book: 39,439
names. That's monumental, and will be a source of historical significant
for the county for years.
Working for several years to put this book together has been John
W. (Bill) Baughman, Dr. Walter J. Freeman, Alice Smythe McCabe and
Pamela Burton Stenhouse. All are listed as editors, while the book
was formatted and indexed by Wendell Scott Holtzclaw.
The book sells for $60 (plus $5 shipping). You may buy the book
at the Society headquarters in the Historic Courthouse, or order
by mail. More details are at http://www.gwinnetths.org.
The book is a companion to a similar book the Society published
in 1980: Gwinnett County, Georgia Families, 1818-1968. This
book was later re-printed in 1988, and was out of print by 1995.
By 2001, Phyllis Davis and Scott Holtzclaw began assembling another
volume to cover families not previously included in such a book.
While by May, 2002, the response to a second book was not what
was expected, the extension of the deadline to May, 2003, produced
an outpouring of response. Then began the task of editing, assembling
and formatting the book. It took over five years to complete the
Much of the book is family genealogy, while a smaller part tells
the stories about families in narrative style. You can learn details
large and small in the book. It is a significant, thorough project.
Those involved should be proud of this work.
* * * * *
Attending the Gwinnett Library's Reading Fair last week, we were
pleased and surprised to find that another Gwinnett city now has
a history of their city published.
Mary Frazier Long now has her About Lawrenceville book available.
It is soft-bound, and priced at $15.
This, too, is not a small book, but has 460 pages, 41 photographs,
8 maps and plenty of stories of the development of Lawrenceville
in particular, and stories of Gwinnett in general. Unfortunately,
there is no index to the book. However, Mary has spent long hours
in front of the microfilm reader at the Five Forks Branch of the
Gwinnett Public Library, researching the old newspapers, to record
You will learn much about the town, from its early leaders and
city officials, to its facilities and buildings and institutions.
Much of what is interesting is from the old newspapers, citing the
history of different eras of the town's development.
Perhaps the more enjoyable passages are included in a section of
profiles of some of the citizens of Lawrenceville. There's even
a story of where the name of Regal Drive comes from. You'll enjoy
it. This section takes up 85 pages of the book, and gives new insight
into these citizens.
* * * * *
As far as we can tell, About Lawrenceville is the third
book about Gwinnett cities. The city of Buford authorized Handsel
Morgan to publish a history of that community. Irene Crapo and Martha
Adams, working through the Norcross Woman's Club, published a book
on that city.
It would be a wise investment if the other cities of Gwinnett would
fund a history of their communities.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Howard Brothers,
which has outlets in Duluth, Norcross and Oakwood. John and Doug
Howard are the owners/operators of the Howard Brothers stores, which
specialize in hardware, outdoor power equipment and parts and service.
Major trade brands are a hallmark of Howard Brothers. And did you
know that Howard Brothers is the largest seller of Stihl Outdoor
Power products in the United States? Howard Brothers also carries
Makita Power Tools. Visit the web site at www.howardbrothers.com.
the Plumber seems to be everywhere
The latest from cartoonist Bill McLemore:
college students help man polls in Gwinnett
Editor, the Forum:
Great suggestion about eliminating Saturday mail delivery (GwinnettForum,
One more: Has the Board of Elections started a recruiting campaign
now for college students to handle the voting process in November?
Otherwise, with the anticipated large turn out, we're going to
have a major problem with the 75 year olds trying to look up voters.
-- Alvin Johnson, Sandy Springs
Dear Alvin: Our Elections Department says some
college students may be poll workers, but there does not seem
to be an intensive strategy to recruit them. Perhaps in future
Suggests asking Trick
or Treaters to share candy horde
Editor, the Forum:
For some perspective on the election, when your kids get home from
trick or treating with their bag of candy, ask them if they'd mind
sharing it with the kids who didn't go out and earn any candy. You
may find their answer very enlightening...
-- Brian Luders, Duluth
Dear Brian: Good idea. But what has this to do
with the upcoming election? You trying to inject politics in kids
having a good time trick or treating! --eeb
Antique and Holiday Festival this weekend
The Braselton Antique and Holiday festival is set for Saturday,
October 25 and Sunday, October 26 in the Braselton Park. The festival
features holiday arts and crafts, fall and winter gardening, floral
displays and a variety of gifts and antiques. The hours are Saturday
from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission and parking are free. Braselton Park is located in the
historic downtown area of Braselton at Exit 129 of Interstate 85.
For additional information, call 706-824-7204.
Chamber to present
SPLOST informational meeting Oct. 30
Learn the details of what Gwinnett will be voting on concerning
the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax question at a meeting
on October 30 at the Chamber of Commerce at 5 p.m. Among the questions
that will be covered in detail at this presentation are:
What SPLOSTs are:
- A Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
- An effective method for counties and cities to generate capital
- A way to improve the quality of life in Gwinnett County.
- Twenty percent of the revenue is reserved for countywide projects
that will consist of additional recreational facilities and libraries.
Those attending will also learn what SPLOSTs are not: a way to
run current projects. No SPLOST funds can be applied to current
or future operational expenses.
Citizen Involvement is key to SPLOST funding. First of all, projects
funded by SPLOST come from citizen-review committees who study what
projects are needed. Then Gwinnettians are involved by reviewing
the status of funding and progress on projects.
Citizens help Gwinnett DOT select and prioritize transportation
projects, as well as recreational projects.
$1 million in CBDG
grants for seniors, and for Hope Clinic
A total of 10 projects have been approved by the county for various
non-profit, city and county entities. They total more than $3.4
million under the FY 2009 Community Development Block Grant Program
of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
One of the two largest projects approved included $1 million to
construct the first phase of a new service delivery facility for
the county's home health and nutrition programs for low-income seniors.
It will be on Swanson Drive in Lawrenceville. This "one stop"
facility will include the following services: case management, information
and assistance, homemaker services, respite services and a nutrition
program for seniors who qualify.
The Hope Clinic is also receiving $1 million in CBDG funds. The
money will be used to build or acquire a building for the non-profit
organization, which currently provides healthcare services to nearly
3,000 low- and moderate-income residents.
Other projects approved by commissioners were housing counseling
awards to the Center for Pan-Asian Community Services ($44,000)
and to The IMPACT! Group ($130,000); homeowner housing rehabilitation
by the county ($295,000); improvements to the learning center/computer
laboratory at the A. Worley Boys and Girls Club in Norcross ($50,000);
and accessibility improvements for the Wishes 4 Me Foundation ($12,000).
Several cities are also participating and will be getting infrastructure
improvements: Dacula, for Freeman's Mill Road/Franklin Drive ($150,000);
Lawrenceville, for citywide sidewalk accessibility ($65,000); and
Loganville for Pecan Street drainage ($49,000).
Chuck Paul is Georgia
MS Society Volunteer of the Year
Norcross resident Chuck Paul is the 2008 Volunteer of the Year
for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society Georgia Chapter.
He has served as a team captain for the MS Walk in Atlanta for 17
consecutive years, and he consistently ranks among the top 10 individual
fundraisers. His commitment to MS and the annual walk stems from
his close relationship with Phil Morrow of Rockford, Ill., a fraternity
brother and classmate at Southern Methodist University in Dallas,
who was stricken with Chronic Progressive MS in 1988.
Paul is active in his community and currently serves as president
of the Norcross Business Association. He is also co-founder and
president of Norcross-based mystery shopping company, A Closer Look.
Since opening in 1994, A Closer Look Inc. has provided guest feedback
solutions for thousands of clients throughout the United States
Company cops statewide awards
Lionheart Theatre of Norcross won multiple awards in the Georgia
Theatre Conference competition recently in Albany. As a result of
their awards, the group advances to the Southeastern Theatre Conference
in March, 2009 in Birmingham, Ala.
The local company was the winner of the Best Play competition,
while Tanya Carroll was named Best Actress; Bob Smith was named
Best Actor; Daphne Mintz, in her first acting role, was named Best
Supporting Actress; and Zach Hare was named to the GTC All Star
Cast. The group presented a one act comedy.
County to have policeman
living at new Harbins Park
Soon there will be a Gwinnett Park Police officer living on site
at the new Harbins Park now under construction near Dacula. The
Board of Commissioners have approved a lease agreement for a house
on the property. Harbins will be Gwinnett County's largest park
with more than 1,900 acres. It is scheduled to open next spring.
Community Services Director Phil Hoskins says: "Having a resident
police officer at Harbins Park will help ensure public safety at
the park and help the county enforce park regulations."
Harbins Park will feature three miles of multi-purpose trails, 6.5
miles of mountain biking trails, 6.5 miles of equestrian trails
and 4.5 miles of natural surface hiking trails. Other amenities
will include a large rustic pavilion that will be available for
rentals, a playground, open-space play area, restrooms and an equestrian-only
parking area. The park is located south of Georgia Highway 316 on
Luke Edwards Road near the Walton County line.
- An invitation: What
Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your
best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have
read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus
what book you plan to read next. --eeb
makes impact on Chicago, Atlanta buildings
The architect John
Wellborn Root, a Georgia native, became one of the key figures
in the nationally significant Chicago school of skyscraper design.
He designed one of the most significant buildings in Atlanta, the
was born in Lumpkin in 1850 and grew up in Atlanta. During the Civil
War (1861-65) his father, Sidney Root, a prominent Atlanta merchant,
sent his young son out of the city on one of his blockade-runners
to attend school in England. Later, after finishing school in New
York City, Root went to Chicago, Ill., to join Daniel Hudson Burnham
in one of the pioneering architectural firms there. This firm made
both structural and design contributions to the late-19th-century
evolution of the skyscraper form. Root, in particular, developed
ideas about the design and philosophy of commercial architecture
and communicated those ideas in the architectural journals of the
period. Among the firm's most notable buildings in Chicago were
the Monadnock and Rookery Buildings, both of which are still standing.
In Atlanta the firm designed the Equitable Building (later the
Trust Company of Georgia Building) in 1890 for the Atlanta developer
Although the eight-story building would today not be considered
tall, its steel-frame construction and monumental presence made
it the city's pioneer skyscraper. Like the Rookery, the building
had a heavy ornamented exterior and an interior light court with
a large window area. The clarity of its design stood in sharp contrast
to its surroundings. Unfortunately this building, which a Georgia
Tech professor once said was the only structure an architect would
stop off in Atlanta to see, was demolished in 1971, just as Georgia's
historic preservation movement was getting under way. Its massive
columns and name panel now adorn the SunTrust Bank Building (built
as Trust Company of Georgia) across from Woodruff Park.
The Equitable Building was the only structure Root is known to
have designed in Georgia, although there are undocumented reports
of others. Upon returning to Chicago after delivering the Equitable
plans in Atlanta, Root contracted pneumonia. He died on January
15, 1891. Only a few months later, on June 26, 1891, Atlantans praised
his Building with elaborate cornerstone ceremonies.
No use to hang around;
Keep on your journey
"If you are going through Hell, keep going"
-- Winston Churchill, via David Barker, Lawrenceville.
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