12.5% of Newton County is living below the national poverty rate, which means that over 14,000 people live with the day-to-day struggle to provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families. The rate of poverty in Newton County is higher than the rate in the United States, which is 11.5%
If only 1% of our population is homeless, that is equal to 140 individuals sleeping outside, under bridges, in parks, in the woods, or any number of places without a bed and a meal.
In neighboring Walton County, those living below the national poverty rate is 10.7%, Morgan County is at 10.9%, Jasper County is at 14.7%, Butts County is at 14%, and Rockdale County is at 13.6%.
(2021 US Census Bureau QuickFacts)
In 1996 Pastor Clara Lett of Rainbow Covenant Ministries, Inc. located at 9 Hemlock Street Porterdale, Georgia, started an outreach ministry for underprivileged youth in the community. The outreach ministry birthed the vision of Rainbow Community Center, Inc.
The center sponsored youth trips, provided three meals daily, started reading and math tutoring which help provide hope for a brighter future. Over the next five years, Pastor Lett saw the needs of the youth and their parents during a declining economy. In September 2001, Pastor Lett and her ministry established the Garden Of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter.