Johns Creek student builds library for homeless families in Roswell

Aids Drake House charity

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ROSWELL, Ga. – As many as 1,200 books and 200 movies can keep someone entertained for a lengthy amount of time. That’s what Johns Creek High School senior Brandon Motter collected to help needy mothers and children at the Roswell-based Drake House.

Motter began the program last year after hearing that book publishers often distribute free books for book reviews.

“I thought these same publishers might be willing to make a donation to this great cause,” Motter said. “As it turned out, several were very supportive.”

Random House, Simon and Schuster and Zondervan all responded to Motter’s requests and sent him boxes of new books.

Between the publishers’ help and that of the community, Motter built and filled a library at the Drake House to help teens like him.

The Drake House is a 16-unit apartment complex in Roswell that provides short-term emergency housing, assessment and counseling to homeless mothers and their children in the North Fulton area. It was established in 2005 to support mothers and children in their effort to recover from their interim homeless situation, to keep the family intact and to assist them in their return to self-sufficient housing and a normal family life. In the six years of its existence, the Drake House has helped 239 families with 440 children.

Motter saw a need for books – both fiction and reference – and movies at the home and set about solving the problem. He collected the 1,200 books, partnering with three publishing houses, and built five large bookshelves, as well as framed literary quotes and other furnishings for a new Reading Room for teenagers.

“It’s really fabulous, beautiful,” said Kathy Swahn, executive director of the Drake House.

The charity houses 11 teenagers at the moment, Swahn said, and they are getting full use of the lending library.

“It has turned out to be a real blessing for our families,” said Swahn.

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