John DeCouto

Founding Member of FTHP, Past Chairman of the Board (2018, 2019), Member of the Executive Committee

34 years as a commercial real estate executive, married with three children, one grandchild, support and participate with Medical Missions Ministries (Guatemala), active with both commercial & corporate real estate organizations and trade associations.

As an early volunteer and founding member of FTHP (as a qualified 501c3), I’ve had the privilege of serving the less fortunate on the streets for over 10 years. With that privilege, I’ve been able to share those experiences on the street with many of my colleagues in commercial real estate as well as clients, friends and many volunteers. Our original mission was dual purpose, i) to provide a warm meal, personal interaction, dignity and love through serving breakfast on the street and ii) introduce the plight of the homeless to as many volunteers as we could. Whether we served once a month, once a quarter or three weeks in a row, each week different volunteers got up early on a Saturday morning to give their time to (if even for a minute) enrich the lives of the folks living on the streets of Atlanta.

Over time, our original mission was working beautifully — hundreds of volunteers, serving a hot breakfast on the street every Saturday (now serve at two locations each Saturday), consistently serve between 200-250 meals every week, great financial support, sustainable system, etc. But we knew we needed to do more. I am excited and proud of our Beyond Breakfast initiative and the dedicated volunteers behind the effort. While our original mission is still part of our overall vision, it’s the desire of the volunteers and sponsors to do what we can to help people off the street that warms my heart. The food is what introduces FTHP to those opportunities, it’s our beyond breakfast program and those fantastic volunteers that will make a difference, one person at a time.

I have many memories of feeding on the street, volunteers giving the shoes off their feet to someone who needs them, to helping a father and son off the street, Anthony, Donny…the list goes on. I am in awe of those volunteers and homeless, who do selfless acts for one another. They inspire me to try and live my faith in a meaningful way and leave things just a bit better than when we got there.

Matthew 25 v37-40- sums it up best: “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “