Saline Area Social Service Announces Facility Move to 1259 Industrial Drive
September 15, 2022 - Saline Area Social Service (SASS), Saline’s primary provider of food and emergency assistance, moved earlier this summer and is carrying out its mission in a new facility at 1259 Industrial Drive in Saline. The community is invited to attend a ribbon cutting and open house at the new site on Sunday, September 25, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The organization has also launched a capital campaign to fund the purchase of the new facility and ensure the financial future of SASS in the years to come.
The Saline community has long been quick to help neighbors who find themselves in a tight spot. For those with limited financial resources, difficult situations can arise suddenly because of job loss, family breakup, or illness. With the rising cost of rent, food, and gas, more members of our community are struggling to make ends meet. SASS offers help in many areas: prescription drug bills, car repair bills, school supplies and winter clothing for children, and tutoring and mental health services for youth, offered in partnership with Saline schools.
In July, SASS relocated from the house on Michigan Avenue to a larger, more accessible building on the east side of town. SASS’ new home at 1259 Industrial Drive has large bay doors for deliveries, plenty of storage space, private offices, and an open pantry layout that enables clients to resume indoor shopping. Due to space constraints and safety concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SASS clients were not able to enter the pantry to shop or meet with staff for over two years. A larger, more efficient building was essential to maintain the current services at SASS and meet the growing needs of the Saline area.
In the first month of operating at the new facility, SASS experienced substantial growth in its client base and many new advantages for clients, volunteers, and staff. The number of total clients needing weekly assistance increased by 22%. Volunteers and staff members have expressed appreciation for the increase in accessibility and the efficient operation possible in the modern, one-level facility. The clients have greater independence to select their preferred foods in the pantry and can meet privately with staff.
SASS had outgrown the Michigan Avenue house even before the pandemic. The Board of Directors had begun exploring the cost of expansion when they learned that a commercial space was available in the Wood Duck Business Park. The building met and exceeded SASS requirements and was available almost immediately. The Board agreed to finance this vital purchase with a bridge loan and some of the organization’s reserves, which must now be rebuilt for the future in this new space. The prior location, 224 W. Michigan Avenue, is currently used for storage, with tentative plans to list the property in 2023. Once sold, any proceeds will go toward the increased costs of the new space, including association fees for the business park, higher utility costs, and increased maintenance costs.
As SASS officially opens its new space, the organization is extending an invitation to the Saline community to join its mission, contribute to its work, and help launch it securely in its new home. With the help of leadership donors, including its Board of Directors, 100% of whom have contributed and donated a total of over $100,000, SASS has already raised over 70% of the $850,000 campaign goal. SASS is asking members of the community to make either a one-time gift or a pledge payable over two to three years to help raise the remaining $250,000 and ensure the organization’s long-term financial future.
To learn more, donate, or pledge, go to https://salinesocialservice.com/newhome.
About Saline Area Social Service
Saline Area Social Service (SASS) is a private, tax-exempt non-profit organization that has served the most vulnerable students, families and senior citizens that live in and around the Saline area for over 60 years. The organization’s mission is to provide short- and long-term aid, directly and through referrals, to its participants in need. For more information, visit salineareasocialservice.com.
Phone: (734) 429-4570