Human Clay

  • Human Clay 2023
  • Silent Auction and Donations
  • Sponsorship
  • Previous Year's Human Clay
  • Be Inspired

    “The mission of Gateway Center is to connect people experiencing homelessness with the support necessary to become self-sufficient.”

    Gateway Center would like to cordially invite you to attend our 11th Annual Human Clay event as we celebrate 18 years of proudly serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Atlanta.

    The name Human Clay derives from a line in The Novels of Balzac by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac which states:

    “And a conviction brings a salient indefinable beauty into faces made of the commonest human clay.”

    It is our pleasure to share that Gateway Center’s 11th Annual Human Clay Event will be held in person at Westminster in their Barge Commons Building on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 6:00p.m. Gateway Center’s vision to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in Atlanta is powered by providing opportunities and building bridges for those we serve while Inspiring the local community to accept an active role in our work. As we connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to the necessary resources that will assist them in securing stable housing and sustainable income, we encourage the Atlanta community to embrace the perspective of Everybody Vs. Homelessness. By working together to break barriers for the most vulnerable, we Inspire others to become actively engaged in advocacy for those we serve in ways that will support and strengthen our community as a whole.

    Since 2005, Gateway Center has served as a beacon of hope to approximately 7,000 people annually experiencing homelessness.

    “The mission of Gateway Center is to connect people experiencing homelessness with the support necessary to become self-sufficient.”

    Gateway Center continues to deliver programs and services through partnerships that are designed to provide a collective impact approach to support individuals and families in their successful efforts to transition out of homelessness and into stable housing.

    Each year we select an individual to honor who has distinguished themselves through their meaningful contributions to community, which have made a direct impact through the promotion of equality and compassion for all. In addition, their advocacy has inspired others to fight for our most vulnerable communities, including the homeless community.  These individuals and organizations have exhibited courage, leadership, and a personal willingness and commitment to Inspiring and challenging the Atlanta community to embrace housing as a right for all, not a privilege for a few.

    Franklin-Hardin Award Recipient – Partners for Home

    The Franklin-Hardin award allows Gateway Center to honor our history and the transformational leadership of two people who inspired the founding of Gateway Center. These individuals include former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and our Board Chairman Jack Hardin. Through the support of the Hilton Foundation, Gateway Center recently renamed our annual award to celebrate the legacy of Mayor Franklin and Mr. Hardin by recognizing individuals and organizations who have distinguished themselves through their service to the community, promotion of equality, corporate citizenship, and generosity. This year we will honor and celebrate an organization who has Inspired the Atlanta community to embrace a strategic plan to end homelessness in Atlanta.  Gateway Center has chosen to honor Partners for Home with The Franklin-Hardin Award.

    Partners for HOME was founded in 2015 under the administration of City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. It serves as the Collaborative Applicant for the Atlanta Continuum of Care and works with direct service providers, government agencies, businesses, and community stakeholders to coordinate a comprehensive response to end homelessness in the City of Atlanta. As the Collaborative Applicant, Partners for HOME’s coordinates the Atlanta CoC’s HUD-funded grant process, including coordination of the local competition and submitting the consolidated application on behalf of the Continuum of Care. Partners for HOME is a separate, legal nonprofit organization that is authorized by the Atlanta Continuum of Care and City of Atlanta to coordinate homeless response in the City. Catherine Vassell, the CEO of Partners for Home, sums up this year’s theme Be Inspired with these words, “This is a pivotal time for the Atlanta community as there are so many people coming together in agreement to enact our strategic plan to end homelessness in Atlanta. By creating a united and coordinated crisis response system across Metro Atlanta, we are poised to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.” We are excited to honor Partners for Home for their inspirational work and commitment to individuals and families experiencing homelessness with the Franklin-Hardin award this year!


    Special Honoree – Edward “Jack” Hardin

    Gateway Center is excited to announce that Edward “Jack” Hardin will be recognized as our Special Honoree at Human Clay 2023. Jack led the team that created Gateway Center, and he served as Chairman of our Board from 2005-2022. In January of 2023, he transitioned to Chairman Emeritus, but he remains an active and engaged member of Gateway Center’s Board of Directors. Jack is a Partner at Smith, Gambrell, and Russell, President of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Legal Services Foundation, a member of the Board of Grady Memorial Hospital, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, Jack has served as the Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Chairman of the Board for the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard, University Divinity School, and Chairman of the Board for the Paideia School. The United Way, the Anti-Defamation League, Traveler’s Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta, Emory University Law School, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and the Georgia Budget and Public Policy Institute, among others, have recognized Jack with awards for his public service. He was an original member of the Regional Commission on Homelessness, and has, along with former Mayor Shirley Franklin, served as its Co-Chairman since 2009. Jack’s limitless passion and tireless dedication have been instrumental in ensuring that Gateway Center has had the capacity to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness since our inception. He is an Inspiration to us all. Gateway Center is excited to recognize Jack Hardin as our Special Honoree at Human Clay!


    Auctioneer – Jordan Campbell 

    Gateway Center is excited to announce that Jordan Campbell will return as our Auctioneer for Human Clay 2023. Born is his native Scotland, he excels in engaging audiences in a professional and interactive fashion. An award-winning Event & TV Host, Emcee, and Auctioneer, Jordan loves connecting with guests in a professional and lively fashion. He is passionate about getting on stage and creating a memorable rapport with audiences while truly captivating the crowd. Jordan’s charismatic and engaging personality allows his events to be lively, entertaining, fun, and professional. He is on a passionate mission to help raise revenues for non-profits while elevating their impact as they seek to change lives and make a difference in community. Jordan loves to support the causes closest to his heart, and he is driven to help them succeed in carrying out their missions. He is proud to support these wonderful nonprofits and aims to resonate their mission with guests at every event, so as to maximize the occasion and to truly engage their communities. Gateway Center is excited to have Jordan as our Auctioneer for Human Clay!


    Emcee – Brigette Burnett – CEO & Founder, Choice Productions

    Gateway Center is excited to announce that Brigette Burnett will return as our Emcee for Human Clay 2023. Brigette is an Emmy award-winning journalist and the CEO of Choice Productions, a traveling video production and marketing company that helps companies and organizations showcase their best online presence while outperforming competition. Before becoming an entrepreneur, a television and film producer, and casting coordinator, Brigette stepped away from a more than a decade-long career in television news as an anchor, general assignment reporter, producer, and sports photographer. She received an Emmy for a story she produced on a dancer who beat childhood cancer and an Associated Press award for her work that resulted in overturning the wrongful conviction of an innocent man. The ability to command a room and engage an audience has allowed Brigette to secure moderating roles with Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Actress Sally Field, and Actor John Cusack among others. She produces documentaries for Unsung Productions, acted as the Executive in Charge while touring with New Edition, worked on live and recorded shows, and successfully helped cast the Real Housewives of Potomac and Atlanta. Gateway Center is excited to have Brigette as our Emcee for Human Clay!


    Egbert Perry – Event Chair 

    Gateway Center is incredibly grateful to Egbert Perry for serving as Event Chair for our 11th Annual Human Clay – Be Inspired – fundraiser.

    Egbert Perry is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Integral Group (Integral), a company that specializes in community development and commercial real estate development and investment. Integral, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, has implemented projects in the mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest, and Western regions of the United States. Since it was founded in 1993, Integral has become a premiere provider of sustainable real estate, community, and infrastructure solutions in mature and emerging markets across the United States. Over the years, the company has created approximately 10,000 housing units, and maintains a considerable development pipeline as well as hundreds of acres of urban property prepared for development.

    Integral’s mission was first put on display in 1996 when Centennial Place, a collaboration that also involved another firm, and the Atlanta Housing Authority, was created. This first of its kind, forward-thinking project included mixed income rental and ownership housing; early childhood development programs; K-12 education reform; health, wellness & recreation facilities; retail and commercial uses; and various complementary market-rate developments designed to expand the disposable income in the new neighborhoods and attract providers of retail goods and services to the re-envisioned economically integrated community.

    Since inception, Integral has implemented scores of public-private partnerships that promote “responsible” urban development. Integral and Egbert have received numerous awards and are regarded nationally as innovators in the field of urban development & investment, and community development. Egbert is also dedicated to serving his community through volunteerism and board service. He is passionate about the human right to housing and is honored to support Gateway Center in its mission to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.

    We encourage you to learn more about Gateway Center by following us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn and by attending Human Clay – Be Inspired at Westminster on Thursday, September 21 from 6:00pm-9pm!

    We invite you to support our cause by attending our event and by making a sponsorship commitment. If you are interested in sponsorship, please contact the Resource Development Department at Please see the following Sponsorship Levels and Commitment Form.

    Tickets can be purchased here.

    We are grateful for our Presenting Sponsor for Human Clay 2023, Westminster.

  • Silent Auction and Donations

    Human Clay is Gateway Center’s largest fundraising event and has always provided significant funds for the provision of our essential services. Funds raised directly support programming including intensive case management, coordinated entry, behavioral health services, substance abuse treatment, workforce development training, food services, and other vital supports.

    There will be a live and silent auction along with our “Fund the Mission” component.

    Please click on this link to view Silent auction items. We will be offering some fantastic items such as wine tasting classes, sports memorabilia and much more! Auction items can be previewed until just before the event so you can browse and plan your bidding strategy.

    Please click here to give to our critical programs and services at Gateway Center.

    Thank you in advance for your support!

  • 2023 Corporate Sponsors

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