Thirteen percent (13.4%) of Newton County is living below the national poverty rate which means that over 13,000 people live with the day-to-day struggling to provide the basic necessities for themselves and their families.
If 1% are homeless, that is equal to 130 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 12.3%, Morgan county is at 12%, Jasper county is at 17.6%, Butts county is at 18.3% and Rockdale county is at 14.1%.
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.