Families First, founded in 1890 as the Leonard Street Orphans’ Home, broke ground Thursday on its new headquarters in Washington Park. The adoption and foster care agency is renovating the former E.R. Carter Elementary School to become a resource center offering an array of family services. Families First, also the state’s largest mental health service provider, sees an average of 37,000 children and families each year.
Mayor Kasim Reed said the organization’s relocation to the Westside, one of the city’s most impoverished areas, is a key part of efforts to improve the communities there. Reed and civic leaders have called for renewed focus on English Avenue and Vine City in the wake of the new Atlanta Falcons stadium under construction.