Organizations Supporting the Marginalized

The Role of Charitable Organizations

“AIDS Aid Now,” sign at the Georgia State Capitol AIDS rally and vigil, Atlanta, Georgia, 7 May 1988.
Mother Teresa visiting the Gift of Grace House, a home for women with AIDS her order opened in 1994, Atlanta, Georgia, 13 June 1995.
Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter, Atlanta, Georgia, 26 December 1973.
Robert Abrams and Carolyn Abrams pose as Mary and Joseph during a demonstration against homeless phobia, organized by the People for Urban Justice, 1991

A major metropolitan area like Atlanta poses complex social problems that, on a personal level, are manifested as tragic suffering and loss. Two persistent epidemics, AIDS and housing precarity, have ravaged Atlanta over the years. Faced with these crises – for society and for individuals – private and volunteer groups arose to work alongside government agencies or in their absence.   

Special Collections forms relationships with these groups and works to preserve their records and stories. By doing so, we are documenting the history of our region in all its painful complexity as well as providing first-hand information that can help to inform responses to future crises. We help society to remember those who experienced chronic sickness and poverty. And we preserve the legacies of hope and generosity of those who dedicated themselves to relentless battle against these ongoing public health crises.