“They tore down hell and built heaven.”
This is a quote from the late Eva Davis, former president of the East Lake Meadows Tenants’ Association. Ms. Davis had a vision that garnered $33.3 million in federal funds from former President Jimmy Carter for community improvement in East Lake. Her vision was expanded after meeting Tom Cousins, philanthropist and businessman, as were the resources for it. Ms. Davis rallied residents to vote to support the redevelopment of the East Lake neighborhood, which paved the way for Tom Cousins and then-Atlanta Housing Authority CEO, Renee Glover, to collaborate with residents and partners to make change happen.
Twenty-five years ago, the East Lake Foundation was established with the ambitious goal of transforming East Lake from one of Atlanta’s most troubled neighborhoods into a thriving community for its families. Alongside dedicated residents, like Eva Davis, and our many incredible partners, we are proud to have established the groundwork for healthier lives for residents, and a community that fosters racial equity, better health outcomes and greater economic mobility.
It is a source of great pride that the work we’ve done in East Lake has spurred a national movement of holistic community revitalization led by Purpose Built Communities, the organization now helping 26 other communities around the country implement the model we started here in East Lake.
While we celebrate this special anniversary, we are not finished. There is still more work to be done. We are focused and committed to ensuring East Lake is a place where people of all ages and incomes choose to seek new, innovative and equitable opportunities for their families. I trust you will remain a supportive and engaged stakeholder in our work.
On behalf of the East Lake Foundation Board, Staff and Partners, thank you for your support in helping create “25 Years of Possibility” for families in our East Lake neighborhood, and for the ripple felt in neighborhoods across the country.
Daniel Shoy, Jr.
President & CEO
East Lake Foundation