Lydia's House exists to serve those who come to serve in the city of Atlanta. In the 11 years Lydia's House has existed we have hosted over 6,500 folks who have given over 250,000 hours of service to the city. We are named after a business woman named Lydia who, according to the New Testament book of Acts, showed hospitality to travelers who were going to serve others. We seek to do the same.
Lydia's House is located on the third floor of Park Avenue Baptist Church. Though the building has been around since the 1930's, Park Avenue is currently a thriving community center and home to a progressive, inclusive, Baptist faith community (yes, there actually is such a thing! check out parkavebaptist.com for more information). We regularly host faith based groups as well as many non faith based groups. All are welcome at Lydia's House and we do our best to maintain that radical welcome. Because of this core commitment we cannot welcome groups that willfully discriminate, marginalize or subjugate others for any reason. As Cornel West says "You can't serve the people if you don't love the people."
Chances are good you've already got partners you are working with and places to volunteer. If not, we encourage you to consider our Urban Immersion Educational Modules. These offer a way to not only serve in the city but to gain a deeper understanding of the systemic and structural nature of the larger issues facing Atlanta and likely affecting your own context. Through education, immersion, activities and dialogue with long-time Atlanta residents and leaders, we are able to do a deep dive into everything from racial justice to immigration reform. If you want to know more, just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and click the immersion link in the navigation here.
We seek to be partners in the work of service. For this reason our fee structure is based on a donation to cover utility costs for our (very old) building and to maintain our community programs, including free after school programs for kids in risk in our neighborhood, our summer literacy camps and help underwrite trauma counseling for many of our kids.
Due to utility increases, our current fees are $15 per per person, per night stayed. Our Urban Immersion Education modules are $10 per person, per day. There is also a $50 group fee (not per person) to cover administrative costs and feed interns that help keep Lydia’s House going. When estimating your group cost, use the following formula:
_____# of persons staying x _____# of nights x $15 plus
_____# of persons in group x _____# of modules x $10 plus
$50 administrative fee
Lydia's House consists of three sleeping rooms and a large, shared common room. The Dining Area is downstairs and the bathrooms and showers are on all three floors of the building. Here are some 360 pictures to help give you a sense of the space. (Don't freak out at the disembodied feet--Google's technology does weird things!)