If you wish to make an apple
pie from scratch, you must first
invent the universe.
In 2014, Terence and Cecilia Lester gathered two trash bags filled with clothes and walked through the streets of downtown Atlanta. On Auburn Avenue, Terence and Cecilia encountered a homeless woman. “Do you know anyone who needs clothes or shoes?” Cecilia asked. The lady immediately responded, “Of course, I need some right now!" When this warm-hearted lady rummaged through the two bags, she came across a pair of black shoes, and started jumping up and down with excitement. “I just prayed for a pair of shoes last night, and God answered.” Terence and Cecilia looked at each other, and in that moment—the concept of “Love Beyond Walls” was born. On the ride home, they discussed ways to mobilize others to join them in moving past the walls that divide people, and to take love to people in creative ways.
That day, they both became compassionate about work in the trenches, and the desire to love people where they were. In 2013, Terence formalized the concept of Love Beyond Walls as more than just an idea by incorporating as a nonprofit and living as homeless person in the heart of the City of Atlanta. With the permission of his family, he lived on the streets to understand the sufferings of those faced with homelessness and poverty. He was put out of shelters, slept under bridges, ate handouts, begged for money, got put out of restaurants, stayed up countless days, and experienced every aspect of homelessness first-hand. He wanted to wear the shoes of the people the organization serves. The organization has focused on raising awareness of the realities and needs of those experiencing lack and vulnerability, and using that vehicle as a way of mobilizing people to take part in those stories.
Since starting, Love Beyond Walls has mobilized thousands of people to serve those that are vulnerable and forgotten.
Love Beyond Walls is a 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the federal government.Meet Our Team