Spring 2019 Updates - We closed on our first property!

We officially closed on our first property as an organization! 885 Smith Street is a single family home in the Pittsburgh neighborhood that we acquired from the Annie E Casey Foundation. We will now begin renovations and through a partnership with the Atlanta Land Trust, make it permanently affordable to a lower income buyer. You can learn more about the Community Land Trust model and our project in this newly released article featured in Atlanta’s Saporta Report!

As part of our construction process, there are two specific ways that you can get more involved:

  • Volunteering: We will have two volunteer days coming up! So come and grab a paint brush or a hammer and invest some sweat equity in this project. If you would like join us for a volunteer day, fill out this formand we will reach out as they are scheduled.

  • Giving: We have already partnered with some local businesses to give both money and in-kind donations for the project. You can always donate online, or if you or your company/church/civic group would like to sponsor a line item (an appliance or fixture) please contact us directly at swopedreams@gmail.com.

We will also be a featured charity sponsor and have been given an information booth at the GA Affordable Housing Coalition Annual Conference this week in Savannah. Be sure to stop by and say hello if you are there as well. 

On behalf of the entire Swope Dreams team, thanks for your support as we continue to honor the life and legacy of Drew Swope through this important work. Please reach out if you would like to get more involved in some capacity or if you'd just like to say hello. We love hearing from you :)

An Update on Our Progress

Over the past year, our team has been working hard to get the foundation in place to be a successful organization. Getting things off the ground has run the spectrum of emotions for all of us. It is challenging, inspiring, daunting and encouraging all at once. Throughout it all, Drew's creativity and zest for life has kept everyone going forward with our plans to honor his life and legacy through Swope Dreams. We welcome your input, advice and support as we continue to march along. 

Some updates:

Swope Dreams, Inc. is officially a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization! This means we can now accept tax deductible donations from individuals, corporations, receive in-kind donations, corporate matching, etc. This organization is governed by a board of directors and has a mission to:

Support affordable housing, community development, and housing justice related purposes.  

  • To create high quality affordable home ownership and/or rental options for people in lower income brackets

  • Develop innovative housing models that allow original and/or lower income residents of rapidly changing neighborhoods avoid displacement and reap the long term benefits of increased investment in their communities

  • Support educational and informational activities to increase public awareness of housing justice issues

  • To combat runaway gentrification and to prevent community deterioration. 

We have identified our first potential project to pursue! This is still not official, but we are in conversation with a locally based foundation to partner on rehabbing a single family home in the Pittsburgh neighborhood (ATL not PA) to be sold as an affordable unit to a qualified buyer. It is a neighborhood rich with history and poised for growth as the south section of the Beltline and PIttsburgh Yards are completed. There are still some details to iron out, but it is looking like this will be a great opportunity for us to get our start at providing affordable housing in critical areas in Atlanta. (Feel free to reach out if you would like more specifics on this particular opportunity)

We officially have legal representation! We recently had a 3rd round in person interview with the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta to be considered for pro bono legal services for Swope Dreams. We are excited to report that they have decided to officially take us on as a client! After some in depth conversations about our current plans, medium plans, long term plans, board makeup, fundraising, strategy, etc they will connect us to legal representation and will to take us on as a full client for the next year. This is literally thousands of dollars of legal assistance gifted to us and is a huge vote of confidence and a really positive step for Swope Dreams moving forward!

A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed in many ways thus far. We are hoping to create some very tangible volunteer opportunities in the near future and will keep you posted as they develop. For now, if you have experience in construction, real estate, web design, fundraising or some other superpower you would like to put to use, let us know. 

We are all very excited to kick off this next chapter of Swope Dreams with you.

- The Swope Dreams team