The November 6th Virtual Transform Westside Summit featured: Leonard Adams, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Quest Communities; Anna Foote, SE Regional Director, On the Rise Financial Center; Cindy Simpson, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, CHRIS 180; Kimya Trotter, Benefits Specialist Supervisor, Quest Financial Center.
As the Westside Future Fund and its partners continue evolving to better support the residents of the Westside through four impact areas—Mixed-Income Communities, Safety & Security, Cradle-to-Career Education, and Community Health & Wellness—the summit showcased the progress being made on the new Quest Westside Impact Center. The panelists joined in via a mix of Zoom and in-person appearances to discuss retention of legacy residents, financial development services, and the future of Mixed-Income Communities with an emphasis on how the Westside Impact Center will prepare and empower legacy residents to partake in the transformations occurring in their community.
Leonard Adams, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Quest Communities
Leonard Adams enthusiastically started out the panel with the visual of a nearly completed mixed-income housing unit displayed in the background as he discussed the journey Quest Communities has taken to become an all-inclusive headquarters for meeting an array of needs for Westside residents. Adams laid out the unique dynamic nonprofits have formed in the Westside which has led to the now aptly named Quest Communities, where a conglomerate of nonprofits offer a collective impact for residents by working in tandem. The Westside Impact Center will stand as a “visual of trust” to legacy residents in an effort to repopulate the Westside with the individuals who created the culture and beauty that is unique to the area. Adams highlighted partners nonprofits soon to be housed in the Westside Impact Center: On The Rise, Quest Financial, Westside Connect, The Westside Empowerment Center, Westside Growers and Family Dollar. As COVID-19 continues to impact the community, residents can access services remotely as well as in-person.
Anna Foote, SE Regional Director, On the Rise Financial Center
Anna Foote, SE Regional Director of On the Rise Financial Center, recalled the impact OTRFC’s services have had on over 750 families with 1 on 1 coaching. Warmly, Anna reminisced on starting out in trailers on Joseph E. Boone Blvd, the growth which has led to a new office at the Westside Impact Center, and how Westside residents stand to benefit from OTRFC’s services in the new location. Foote notes that the economic disparities ravaging through developing areas of Atlanta’s Westside stem from disparities in racial equity and generational wealth. Through its focused, individualized financial services, OTRFC is helping to rectify these issues by creating pipelines to homeownership, a primary factor in creating generational wealth. Teleservices are available to residents due to the Coronavirus.
Cindy Simpson, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, CHRIS 180
Cindy Simpson joined live in studio to discuss updates from CHRIS 180 and its new offices at the Quest Westside Impact Center. Simpson points out that though nonprofits vying for the same precious resources tend to compete, the uniqueness of Westside-serving nonprofits lies in how harmoniously they collaborate to maximize benefits for legacy residents. Simpson spoke to CHRIS 180’s behavioral health services, zeroing in on helping residents recover from the effects of trauma. Through mental health services provided at the Westside Empowerment Center, residents can tackle personal and family traumas which hinder them from achieving financial stability and economic growth.
Kimya Trotter, Benefits Specialist Supervisor, Quest Financial Center
Kimya Trotter rounded out the panel and highlighted the many services offered at the Quest Financial Center. With a mission to uplift some of the Westside’s most vulnerable, Quest Financial Center combats predatory financial practices while catering to mentally disabled residents. Trotter notes that many clients have a diagnoses which renders them unable to manage their funds adequately, many of whom are veterans or elderly. Quest Financial Center allows such residents to gain more independence as well as attain financial goals with specialized services. Trotter expressed her excitement to expand services via the new Westside Impact Center. The new location will help bring visibility and accessibility to Westside residents looking to be financially independent.