Year In Review

Hundreds of DeKalb Seniors Received COVID-19 Vaccine During County's First Pop-Up Clinic

  DeKalb seniors became some of the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the DeKalb Board of Health at the COVID-19 Vaccination Pop-Up hosted by Lou Walker Senior Center in January 2021. Over 500 DeKalb seniors were vaccinated in just 4 hours. 

Pilot Youth Entrepreneurship Program Launched in Partnership with MARTA


Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson tasked the Humans Services Department and WorkSource DeKalb to collaboratively to address the growing concern of youth selling water on street corners and highway ramps in South DeKalb.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Program provides an alternative route for youth participants aged 15-24 to learn, explore, develop, and prepare for the feasibility of opening their own business as an alternative to a “traditional career pathway”. Youth participants made more than $150 selling water, chips, and healthy snacks to patrons at MARTA’s Kensington and Indian Creek locations. 


2022 Youth Commissioners

The DeKalb County Youth Commission is a long-standing leadership program for DeKalb high school students. For over ten years, the County has implemented this training and civic engagement program to provide opportunities for DeKalb youth to affect change within their communities.  The thirty-two (32) young women and men of the 2021 DeKalb Youth Commission represented 17 DeKalb High Schools. A hybrid program model included a mix of virtual and in person sessions.

Office of Youth Services Partner to Expand College Access Programming

College AIM and the Office of Youth Services partnered to expand college access programming in the DeKalb County School District. With this partnership, College AIM provided college and financial aid counseling to 1,040 high school students across three high schools including workshops, individual coaching, college visits and special events.

During the Metro Atlanta College Access Conference in September 2021, over 300 youth from cross the Metro Atlanta area attended the event had the opportunity to interact with 50 colleges at the college fair.

The Office of Youth Services will continue to work with College AIM to reach students at McNair, Stone Mountain and Towers High Schools.


DeKalb Launched Virtual Lunch & Learn Series 

The DeKalb Human Services Department hosted a series of virtual Lunch & Learn webinars for the community in 2021. The goal of this series is to provide information that will connect individuals and families to needed services that are available in DeKalb County. Participants learned about the Department’s many community partners as well as the services that they offer during the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. 

DeKalb County Launches Effort to Become A Dementia-Friendly Community

DeKalb Human Services hosted, in partnership with Dementia Spotlight Foundation and Dementia Friends Georgia, a drive-thru kick off event at the Lou Walker Senior Center.

There were more than 150,000 Georgians ages 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease in 2020. That number is expected to grow to 190,000 by 2025. This partnership will create resources and programs to help families in DeKalb, including a memory cafe where patients and families can socialize.

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Outdoor Classes and Events Sustained Central DeKalb Senior Center Members


Central DeKalb Senior Center has been busy keeping seniors active and engaged over the past 22 months, with ongoing classes, special programs and various activities via Zoom. In the past couple of months, CDSC started offering outdoor classes and events.

Classes included Zumba Gold, Ageless Grace, Art in the Park, Knitting, Basic Spanish, Coffee and A Chat, Qi Gong, BINGO, along with a performance from the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, flute trio and the acclaimed CDSC House Band with the one and only Hootenanny!


Lou Walker Senior Center Received National Accreditation


DeKalb County’s Lou Walker Senior Center, located at 2538 Panola Road Stonecrest, has been recognized as a Nationally Accredited Senior Center of Excellence by the National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) offers the nation’s only National Senior Center Accreditation Program. There are nine standards of excellence that senior center operations must meet to obtain this accreditation and the Lou Walker Senior Center has met those standards. This accreditation process is designed to improve and strengthen the overall operations, resulting in an official recognition that a senior center is meeting its mission in a nationally accepted, professional manner.

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New Senior Centers on the Horizon

  A new senior center/community center is under construction in District 4 &7. The center will be located at 4885 Elam Road in Stone Mountain. The facility will be energy-efficient and sustainable and is planned to be approximately 24,000-square-feet. Architectural plans for the center include modern, functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces that will meet the need of constituents in Districts 4 and 7. The site will feature a state-of-the-art salt water swimming pool, approximately 100 parking spaces, a covered main entrance drop-off area, service entrance, pedestrian plaza and beautiful landscaping.  
The East DeKalb Senior Center on Bruce Street in Lithonia will have a new building in 2021. DeKalb County approved funding to build a new facility to replace the current senior center building at 2449 Bruce Street. The new 16,000-square-foot facility will feature a multipurpose room and dining hall with stage, classrooms, an aerobics studio and a game room.    

Over $900,000 Awarded in 2021 to Local Nonprofits 

The Human Services Grant Program awarded grants to 53 non-profits to support their work within DeKalb County. These awards will support early learning and afterschool programs, services for seniors and individuals with disabilities, behavior health and mental health counseling, food insecurity, rental assistance and utility assistance, crisis intervention and domestic violence prevention and intervention for women and children and a variety of other needs within the community. The Human Services Grant Program offers an annual grant award to eligible non-profits through a competitive process which begins in May of each year. 

Get Involved in an Intergenerational Volunteer-based Tutoring Program

The DeKalb Human Services Department has partnered with the United Way of Greater Atlanta, the AARP Foundation and the DeKalb County School District for the AARP Experience Corps Tutoring Program. Recent data shows that DeKalb students on average have a reading proficiency of 26%, which means that 74% of students are reading below grade level. The Department is urgently looking to recruit an additional 50 volunteers to participate in their tutoring program designed to help DeKalb students improve their reading skills. The AARP Experience Corps is an evidence-based literacy program that improves the reading skills of children in kindergarten through the 3rd grade for the past 2 years.

To learn more about the program, please contact Debra Furtado, Human Services Administrator or Mussettee H. Hill, Senior Program Coordinator, by email at or, by phone at (770) 322-2969 or (470) 599-3328, or complete the online application to get scheduled for an interview.


DeKalb County’s Human Services Department is a network of county programs, services and community partners that support the well-being of all DeKalb county citizens. We strive to create opportunities for people to be safe, healthy, and realize their full potential. Human Services is dedicated to supporting the development of individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities for the citizens of DeKalb County.