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5 The Table
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Partnership

The Need

Data published by The Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institute, shows that the number of suburban poor living in high-poverty or distressed neighborhoods grew dramatically during the 2000s, and Atlanta, including Sandy Springs  experienced some of the worst increases. 

The CAC and the Early Years

In 1987, SSCC co-chaired a team of representatives from five Sandy Springs churches and was a Founding Member when the CAC opened its doors in borrowed space at Mount Vernon Presbyterian in November of 1987. Although the CAC initially provided food and clothing assistance, and emergency financial assistance, it quickly added a holiday gift program for children, and a school supply program for teachers and students.  By 2004, it began partnering with Second Helpings to collect surplus foods for redistribution to CAC clients.

Continuing to Grow

Through a Capital Campaign that was supported by SSCC, the CAC purchased and moved to its current location at 1130 Hightower Trail in 2005. Over the next decade, the CAC

  • Introduced the Thrift Boutique to distribute quality merchandise to clients. By selling to the general public, the Boutique also became a source of operating funds.
  • Began serving clients one Saturday a month in 2009 with a team of 8 SSCC volunteers. Now, the Saturday program operates 3 Saturdays a month, with the support of 4 area churches and synagogues, including a team of about 25 SSCC volunteers
  • Began offering free income tax preparation assistance to clients
  • Started a summer lunch program for school-aged children
  • Introduced a Client-Choice model (a mini-food market) where clients can choose the food they want
  • Expanded its Adult Education Program to include financial literacy, Microsoft Office and Quickbooks

In addition to expanding services, the CAC introduced data collection systems that enhanced its ability to evaluate its programs for effectiveness and identify gaps. This analysis eventually led to the introduction Case Management and client-authored Individual Service Plans to help move clients from dependency to self-sufficiency.

The Current Capital Campaign

The CAC has outgrown its space and is currently renting space in a building around the corner from its current location. The overarching goal of the Capital Campaign is to increase capacity and improve access by providing funds to purchase and renovate that building and launch two satellite locations.