City of Refuge celebrates 25 years

City of Refuge in Atlanta is celebrating its 25th anniversary when Bruce Deel founded this nonprofit on July 2, 1997.

Deel was recognized in July as one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs by Atlanta Business Chronicle.

“The stories of success are too many to enumerate and the inevitable disappointments too painful to recall. Yet, through it all, we have stayed the course with a commitment to bring light, hope and transformation by creating pathways of opportunities for those we are privileged to walk with,” said Deel in an email newsletter.

What was once a small church basement has become a refuge for thousands of individuals and families, according to the nonprofit’s Facebook page at

Here are a few impact numbers since the start of City of Refuge:

  • 30,000 served
  • 2,000 youths impacted
  • 4 million meals served
  • 5,000 women and children housed
  • 2,500 jobs placed

Ministries offered through City of Refuge are:

  • 180 Degree Kitchen, now serving 250,000 meals a year.
  • 349 women and children lived on campus last year.
  • More than 800 survivors of trafficking and exploitation have found safe and healing residence.
  • An after school program serves children and youths from 6 weeks of age through college.
  • The Workforce Innovation Hub trains and puts into the workforce 500 unemployed and underemployed individuals annually.

For donations, visit