By Katie McKinstry

Hands Across Atlanta is a self-funded nonprofit organization that works to provide food and clothes to those in need, as well as other services. One of the services includes providing dental care, in particular dentures, to homeless veterans in need.  Hands Across Atlanta was started around five years ago by Marcus Acosta. Marcus is passionate about helping people who cannot afford to feed themselves and their families. Acosta grew up with little money, which fuels his passion to help.

Hands Across Atlanta runs off the generosity from the people across the metro Atlanta area in terms of donations and volunteers.  These volunteers help Hands Across Atlanta distribute donated clothing, toiletries and more monthly at locations in and around Atlanta.  The volunteers also help serve those in need a good meal.

Once people are homeless, it becomes difficult for them to assimilate back into society. The negative narrative around homeless people is something that Hands Across Atlanta is determined to change.  Access to health care and dental care being a major problem. A decent smile, something the average American takes for granted can be a major problem for the homeless and can hold them back from obtaining a job.

Every month, Hands Across Atlanta provides a full dental procedure to a veteran who needs them.  The veterans receive the procedures free of charge thanks to a partnership with Cruz Dental Design. Hands Across Atlanta and Cruz Dental offers these procedures to show appreciation for the troops that have given so much to our country.

Similarly, Hands Across Atlanta also hosts public events. One of the reoccurring public events that Hands Across Atlanta puts on is feeding the homeless in the park. Every month, Hands Across Atlanta meets in the GSU Hurt Park to feed the homeless. The Feeding the Homeless days are family-friendly events, that feature live music and a potluck. The next Feeding the Homeless event will be held Sunday, May 25th at 1 p.m.

In the past, Hands Across Atlanta have hosted other similar events. The prohibition party was located at PBR Atlanta, which was a roaring twenties themed event to help raise money and awareness for the nonprofit. Hands Across Atlanta has also hosted hurricane relief benefits and costume walks to raise money for other various causes.

During Hands Across Atlanta’s last Feeding the Homeless event was able to help 25,000 veterans and an additional 12,500 people, and was made possible by a workforce of  300 volunteers. The mission of the event was to provide clothes, food, and healthcare to homeless veterans and struggling families.

Hands Across Atlanta also has several partners that work with the nonprofit. Some of their partners include: Mellow Mushroom, The Wing and Tap Café, Southern Data Solutions, Bright Mill, The Bean Tap Coffee House, and Shepard’s Loft.

If you are interested in donating, you can go to Hands Across Atlanta’s website at https://handsacrossatlanta.org/donate/. To apply to volunteer or help out in other ways, please contact: info@handsacrossatlanta.org by email, or call (678)-926-8329. You can also start a fundraiser for Hands Across Atlanta on Facebook.

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