Press Release: The United Methodist Children’s Home Agrees to Sell Campus to City of Decatur; Funds from $40 Million Sale Will Serve More Children and Families in Crisis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 17, 2017 at 8:30 p.m. ET CONTACT: John P. Cerniglia, Vice President, Development firstname.lastname@example.org 404.327.5838 office 770.710.7663 mobile The United Methodist Children’s Home Agrees to Sell Campus to City of Decatur; Funds from $40 Million Sale Will Serve More Children and Families in Crisis Decatur, Ga. – (April 17, 2017) – Responding to the growing needs of the children and families it serves, on April 12 the Board of Trustees of The United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) agreed to sell the ministry’s 77 acre campus to the City of Decatur. The Decatur City Commission approved the purchase at their April 17, 2017, Commission meeting held earlier this evening at Decatur City Hall. Proceeds of the sale – priced at $40 million – will help UMCH reach more children and families in crisis in new communities across North Georgia. The sale terms include preservation of the historic Moore Chapel and the gravesite of UMCH’s founder Rev. Dr. Jesse Boring. The sale also creates a preservation covenant honoring the unparalleled tenure of Bev Cochran, former CEO of UMCH, who led the ministry for 43 years, from 1968 to 2012. The City of Decatur and The Children’s Home agreed to name the existing administration building at 500 South Columbia Drive – which will remain in use by the City – in memory of Cochran, touching the lives of thousands of UMCH alumni, their children and grandchildren. The City of Decatur will determine and announce its plans for the remainder of the property and its existing buildings and resources. Rev. Hal Jones, The Children’s Home President and CEO, put the sale decision into perspective. “Funds from the sale will help The United Methodist Children’s Home to greatly expand local, community-based ministries in towns and cities across North Georgia, in partnership with many more churches,” said Jones. “Since January, when the Board voted for approval of a sale, I continue to be energized by the decision which embraces the changing landscape in providing services to children and families while empowering UMCH to deliver on, and continuously improve, its important mission. “We are grateful for the City of Decatur’s collaboration with us to preserve our historic Moore Chapel, which will offer our alumni, and others with strong ties to UMCH, a permanent place to celebrate and honor our history,” added Jones. “The determination of our UMCH Board, UMCH leadership team, and the City of Decatur leadership moved in harmony with voices of alumni, partners and neighbors, all of whom expressed commitment to preserving the great legacy symbolized by the Chapel.” City of Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said the City of Decatur is uniquely positioned to be the trustee of this resource and the purchase provides a long-term legacy for generations to come. “The purchase of this property fits with the City’s mission, vision and values and is an investment for current and future families and children,” said Garrett. “The City of Decatur will conduct a community-based master planning effort for the future use of the property once the sale is final and the city has possession of the property.“ It is anticipated that the sale will be closed and final in the summer, with the UMCH vacating by late summer or early fall 2017. UMCH currently houses approximately 80 individuals on campus who are a part of the Family Housing and Independent Living programs. UMCH is committed to providing uninterrupted services and continued support to its residents and will work with them on relocations based on individual needs. In general, current and future residents will move from group home cottages on the campus to more modern, safe and appropriate housing primarily in DeKalb and Fulton counties. Sale funds important mission in perpetuity Some of the proceeds may be used to help with UMCH’s relocation plans, with all of the proceeds ultimately set to serve more children and families across North Georgia. Most of the proceeds from the land sale will be invested in UMCH’s endowment. The endowment is managed by a professional fund manager, which the Board oversees. The proceeds from the sale will be used to serve more children and families who face trauma and seek restoration. And the funds will be used so UMCH may expand its ministries into communities not currently served, such as Augusta, Rome, Dalton, LaGrange, Griffin, and other areas. Proceeds from the sale will also help expand all existing ministries including Foster Care, Family Housing, Independent Living and Transitional Living, in metro Atlanta, and in new communities as well. A brief overview of how the proceeds from the sale will serve more people includes:
- The City of Decatur pays UMCH $40 million
- UMCH invests approximately $30 million in its endowment, with the balance spent on costs associated with the preserving the chapel, the sale, leasehold improvements for residential housing and offices across north Georgia, and relocation
- $1.5 million is earned in the marketplace annually from the $30 million invested, which is a five percent return on investment
- The $1.5 million is used to bring all four of UMCH’s ministries to communities where people need assistance, such as Augusta, Rome, Dalton, LaGrange, Griffin, and other areas. At least 60 more people are served annually, every year in perpetuity, as a result of the sale.
- UMCH’s impact grows from 240 people served daily, today, to over 300 a day after the sale, relocation and expansion are all completed