About us

Atlanta Homeward Choir

The Atlanta Homeward Choir is a men’s choir whose members come from all walks of life, some with prior music training and many without. Entering its fourth season, the Atlanta Homeward Choir has received national, and international media attention and continues to grow as it shares its mission to uplift, encourage and instill a sense of community through the music. Many members of the choir are guests of the Central Night Shelter, a joint effort of Central Presbyterian Church and The Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, both located on Capitol Hill in downtown Atlanta. The Shelter provides a warm place to sleep, a nourishing meal and a hot shower for approximately 100 men every night. Many of the men are currently working or actively seeking employment. 

 

The choir season begins when Central Night Shelter opens its doors on November 1 and continues through March 31 when it closes. Membership in the choir is open to all shelter guests, as well as to other members of the community who were once homeless and are now housed.  

 

The Atlanta Homeward Choir uplifts the men who participate while changing the perception of homelessness in the community by exposing the gifts in these fellow human beings who have been so easily overlooked. 

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MISSION

The Atlanta Homeward Choir works to bring together members from every background and belief system who have ever battled homelessness, using music and performance art as a vessel to uplift, encourage and instill a sense of community in its participants.

HISTORY

The Atlanta Homeward Choir was formed in November 2013 by Dónal Noonan, Music Minister at The Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located in downtown Atlanta. Dónal was moved by what he saw on his morning commutes through the downtown streets. He noticed the same faces each day, offering a morning greeting as they sat as if they were waiting for something. The native of Kilcock Co. Kildare, Ireland wanted to help these familiar faces and came to the realization that music was his biggest gift to share. Dónal went to the Central Night shelter, and asked for volunteers to join the choir. What began with a few grew to nearly 20 members. Over the last three years, the choir has performed around Atlanta and received numerous accolades. In 2015, the Choir traveled to Washington DC and performed at The White House and on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial. The performers’ confidence was lifted and self-worth improved as they felt what it is like to be part of a community again and found some stability in lives that may have otherwise felt unstable.

our board:
Ellen Crooke
Ellen Crooke

Chairperson

Susan Kokoszka
Susan Kokoszka

Assistant Secretary

John Kokoszka
John Kokoszka

Treasurer

ELLEN CROOKE

Chairperson

ellen@atlantahomewardchoir.org

SUSAN KOKOSZKA

Secretary

susan@atlantahomewardchoir.org

JOHN KOKOSZKA

Treasurer

treasurer@atlantahomewardchoir.org

DONAL NOONAN
DONAL NOONAN

Executive Director

LISA SOUTH
LISA SOUTH

Secretary

Amy Stivers
Amy Stivers

Independent Director

DONAL NOONAN

Executive Director

donal@atlantahomewardchoir.org

LISA SOUTH

Assistant Secretary

lisa@atlantahomewardchoir.org

AMY STIVERS

Independent Director

asg@atlantahomewardchoir.org

Jaye Watson
Jaye Watson

Public Relations

Amy Widener
Amy Widener

VP of Public Relations

JAYE WATSON

Public Relations

jaye@atlantahomewardchoir.org

AMY WIDENER

VP of Public Relations

amy@atlantahomewardchoir.org 

operations committee:

The Atlanta Homeward Choir is a men’s and women's choir whose participants come from all walks of life, some with prior music training and many without. The Atlanta Homeward Choir has received national, and international media attention and continues to grow as it shares its mission to uplift, encourage and instill a sense of community through the music. Many participants of the choir are guests of the Central Night Shelter, a joint effort of Central Presbyterian Church and The Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, both located on Capitol Hill in downtown Atlanta. The Shelter provides a warm place to sleep, a nourishing meal and a hot shower for approximately 100 men every night. Many of the men are currently working or actively seeking employment. 

 

The Atlanta Homeward Choir uplifts its participants while changing the perception of homelessness in the community by exposing the gifts in these fellow human beings who have been so easily overlooked. 

.

MISSION

The Atlanta Homeward Choir works to bring together participants from every background and belief system who have ever battled homelessness, using music and performance art as a vessel to uplift, encourage and instill a sense of community in its participants.

HISTORY

The Atlanta Homeward Choir was formed in November 2013 by Dónal Noonan, Music Minister at The Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located in downtown Atlanta. Dónal was moved by what he saw on his morning commutes through the downtown streets. He noticed the same faces each day, offering a morning greeting as they sat as if they were waiting for something. The native of Kilcock Co. Kildare, Ireland wanted to help these familiar faces and came to the realization that music was his biggest gift to share. Dónal went to the Central Night shelter, and asked for volunteers to join the choir. What began with a few grew to nearly 20 participants. Over the last three years, the choir has performed around Atlanta and received numerous accolades. In 2015, the Choir traveled to Washington DC and performed at The White House and on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial. The performers’ confidence was lifted and self-worth improved as they felt what it is like to be part of a community again and found some stability in lives that may have otherwise felt unstable.

MATT WAUCHOPE

Director - Women's Choir

matt@atlantahomewardchoir.org

JACOB AUGSTEN

 Graduate Assistant

jacob@atlantahomewardchoir.org

our board:
ELLEN CROOKE

Chairperson

ellen@atlantahomewardchoir.org

STACIE TOPAZI

Co-Secretary

stacie@atlantahomewardchoir.org

JANET KENIG

Co-Secretary

janet@atlantahomewardchoir.org

LISA SOUTH

Independant Director/Executive Committee

lisa@atlantahomewardchoir.org

CHRISTOPHER TOPAZI
Treasurer

treasurer@atlantahomewardchoir.org

BETTY DERRICKSON

Independent Director

betty@atlantahomewardchoir.org

JAYE WATSON

Public Relations

jaye@atlantahomewardchoir.org

AMY WIDENER

VP of Public Relations

amy@atlantahomewardchoir.org 

CHRIS ROSSE

Logistics Director

chris@atlantahomewardchoir.org

SEAN ROSARIO

Legal Counsel

sean@atlantahomewardchoir.org

MARVIN COINE
Independent Director
marvin@atlantahomewardchoir.org
operations committee:
CATHERINE MCTIER

Committee Member

catherine@atlantahomewardchoir.org

NOLAN MARTIN

Committee Member

nolan@atlantahomewardchoir.org