Executive Director's Corner

Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I share Lutheran Towers’ recent successes. Due to external and internal occurrences, 2019 thru 2021 have been transformative years where our agency experienced exponential growth.

In keeping with the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer’s mission and demonstrated commitment to service to the most vulnerable members of humanity, Lutheran Towers provides not simply housing but also holistic, innovative, person-centered supportive services, recreational programs, and several free on-site feeding programs designed to improve the quality of life for the residents in our senior community.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lutheran Towers was the home to two hundred and three very low-income elderly persons many of whom are struggling with chronic physical health challenges. Due to increasing rent and the dearth of safe, decent, and affordable housing, research indicates that most of Lutheran Towers’ residents are at high risk for homelessness and prone to experience chronic food insecurity. In response to making this finding, in 2018, in collaboration with the USDA, Lutheran Towers launched its first anti-hunger program on site for our residents. To address this pressing basic need with our senior community, each year, our feeding programs have grown in size and scope.

Nichelle Mitchem
Nichelle Mitchem

It has long been said that “Food is medicine”. Because of your financial support, in 2018, we were able to establish a food ministry at Lutheran Towers designed to increase our residents’ routine access to nutritious food. Again in 2019, 2020, and 2021, because of donor support, we have been able to grow our free feeding programs.  98.9% of the funding for Lutheran Towers’ anti-hunger and other supportive service programs offered to our residents comes from donors like you to our Benevolence Fund.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the in-kind support of Lutheran Towers’ community partners, in 2019, Lutheran Towers had the capacity to launch four (4) new resident free feeding programs to address our residents’ food insecurity in a holistic fashion. To help keep our residents safe from COVID-19 and our most vulnerable residents’ well-fed, in 2020, in partnership with Redeemer Lutheran Church and Fulton County Senior Services, we launched a Monday through Friday free on-site lunch program.

In 2019, we grew the number of feeding programs to three. In 2019, for the first-time in this organization’s history, Lutheran Towers served over 920 free meals and disseminated more than 21,000 pounds of free food to our residents. In FY2020, we grew our feeding programs to four. Last year, Lutheran Towers served 16,500 free meals to our residents and disseminated 70,421 pounds of free food to our residents in 2020. In FY2021, as of May 30th, we served 6,777 free meals to our residents and disseminated 29,235 pounds of free food to our residents. In 2021, 4,800 of the 6,777 meals disseminated to Lutheran Towers’ residents were provided by Redeemer’s Food Ministry.

As referenced earlier, for Lutheran Towers, 2020 was a transformative year where no aspect of our operations was left untouched.  In 2020, like in 2019, because our extremely high occupancy rate, we notably increased our earned income. Additionally, in 2020, we obtained new community partnerships and increased our program funding sources which allowed us to safely grow and strengthened our free feeding programs, supportive services, and recreational programs.

Further, in late 2020 and early 2021, our increased earned income allowed Lutheran Towers to undertake much needed renovation in the hallways (i.e., new flooring, lights, paint, pictures, and elevator lobby furniture) located in the residential sections of the building from the basement to the fifteenth floor. The increased rent revenue generated by Lutheran Towers can only be utilized to maintain the building or make capital improvements on the building or grounds---so, in the residential portion of our building, we engaged in needed renovation on every floor. Additionally, in 2020, we added Wi-Fi throughout the building and purchased iPads to offer our residents free access to the Internet and to increase their access to their family, friends, and recreation from the safety of their apartments.

Your investments in the lives of the residents that call Lutheran Towers their forever home have changed the quality of life for more than 5,000 very vulnerable elders since 1976.

Over the course of almost five decades, more than 5,000 very vulnerable elders of all cultures and faiths have called Lutheran Towers their forever home. Lutheran Towers is more committed than ever to not simply housing but also providing holistic, innovative, person-centered supportive and recreational services to its more than 200 residents.

With guidance from our strategic plan, the dedication of a caring Board of Directors, very dedicated and talented staff, our innovative as well as holistic programs, and the dedication of our individual donors, we are poised to move forward in becoming one of Atlanta’s premier senior independent living communities.

On behalf of Lutheran Towers’ residents, staff, and the board of directors, I thank you deeply for your generosity. It is greatly appreciated by all.

With warmest gratitude and best wishes,
Nichelle A. Mitchem, JD
Executive Director
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