DULUTH, GA - On Tuesday, March 2nd before a room full of executives and advocates passionate about ending homelessness in our state, Rainbow Village's CEO Nancy Yancey was honored by the Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness with the coveted 2011 Essential Piece Award. Through this award, GAEH recognizes annually one individual that truly models service, collaboration and leadership in the mission to end homelessness. Recipients exemplify innovation and exceptional service and offer unique programs that are making a real impact on the state of homelessness in Georgia.
Yancey was shocked to learn that she had even been nominated. As CEO Nancy is the face of Rainbow Village throughout the community but she is far more comfortable singing the praises of her staff, board, volunteers, community partners and residents than she is touting her own accomplishments or taking credit for the great work that they do. Nancy was so touched to discover that it was her own staff that came together to nominate her for this prestigious award. Though the organization as a whole has been recognized often through the years, they felt it was time for Nancy to get the personal recognition she deserved for her outstanding leadership and vision.
"Nancy is long overdue to receive recognition for what she has given to the families of Rainbow Village," said Lynette Ward, Rainbow Village's Director of Adult Programs. "She is not just the CEO; she is the heart of Rainbow Village. For 18 years she has been an anchor, an encourager, a believer in people, a voice of reason and inspiration. She's touched so many lives. I hope that by receiving this award she sees how much we value and appreciate her and her commitment to our mission."
Ward was once a resident of Rainbow Village. As a graduate of the program, she understands first-hand the impact this community–based transitional housing program has on the lives of homeless families that pass through.
"Thanks to Nancy's vision and guidance Rainbow Village has evolved into a comprehensive recovery program that enables homeless families to successfully return to a life of self-sufficiency. I know. I'm living it!" said Ward. "We are successfully breaking the cycles of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence one family at a time. Nancy is so committed not only to the mission, but also to each and every person that comes through our doors. She has a huge heart that was made for this very purpose."
As Rainbow Village celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, Nancy is passionately leading the charge to expand the vision for Rainbow Village and the impact it has on our community in the years to come. Exciting new plans, soon to be unveiled, to build a new all-inclusive campus that will allow Rainbow Village to triple the number of homeless families they can serve. Nancy shares, "I am truly grateful to receive this award. It would be my hope that this recognition will help us draw more attention to the needs of homeless families in our community, build the community's confidence in the work that we do, and inspire people to become more involved."