The Center for Children and Young Adults is a transformative, model program whose mission is to provide safe and suitable housing, youth development activities and comprehensive supportive housing services for at-risk homeless youth who have been abandoned, abused, neglected and/or sexually exploited.
The History Behind The Center
Incorporated in 1981, The Center housed its first children in 1984 at the 325 Fairground Street property location. The shelter area of the building was called “Open Gate” and housed up to 12 children and youth at one time for emergency shelter. Several community organizations and leaders were involved in the CCYA shelter development process, including Senator Johnny Isakson, The Marietta-Cobb Junior League, local Rotary & Kiwanis clubs, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, and the Cobb County Department of Family & Children Services. In 2000, we relocated to Austell Road and expanded our campus facilities, bed capacity, and service delivery, even adding a coed transitional living program (ages 17-20). In 2007, The Center shifted from an emergency shelter to longer-term housing (in excess of 90 days). In 2009, we began serving only adolescents (ages 12-20) while expanding service to 13 counties to meet the community need. In 2010, under new leadership, CCYA shifted its culture of care from a “shelter” that “houses youth” to a “therapeutic healing center” that “treats and develops youth.” In 2019, we launched Rise Up Academy, a transitional living program for youth & young adults functioning at a higher social, emotional and behavioral level, to enable them to shine and thrive.