The Jolly Avenue Development Center (JADC) is an innovative neighborhood development center being created by the nonprofit, Friends of Refugees (FOR), based in Clarkston, Georgia, a small town located near Atlanta. The mission of FOR “to empower refugees through opportunities that provide for their well-being, education and employment.” After over a decade of strong growth for Friends of Refugees and a desire to better serve the community, the idea for JADC arose as a way to more sustainably provide space for critical opportunities and success. The JADC is located just outside the City of Clarkston in unincorporated Dekalb County, at the site of Friends of Refugees’ existing Jolly Ave Garden, which will be a part of the new site.
The JADC will benefit the entire neighborhood, but with more than 100 ethnicities within a few minutes’ walk of the site, it predominantly serves refugees resettled in the USA from areas of the world where they have endured abject poverty, religious or political persecution, violence and war. We believe that intelligence, ability and ambition are evenly distributed throughout humanity, but the opportunity to deploy those things for success is not. We’re going to change that.
Through multiple years of community research, the JADC’s uses have been carefully designed not to replicate existing resources in the neighborhood of Jolly Avenue. The JADC focuses primarily on functions that emphasize economic uplift, opportunity, innovation and well-being; it does not endeavor to host major events, weddings, arts or recreation, among other things. Rather, it will form an integral part of the community development network that is already present and at work in the community.