Saline Area Services Fund Raising To Move To Larger Facility
Saline Area Social Services bought their current location on West Michigan Avenue for just one dollar. The former private home has been a good location for the charity for years, but as the greater Saline community has grown it has become increasingly obvious that it is simply too small for current needs, so it is time to move.
“At this point, we have really outgrown the space we are in. The past two years have been really tough with Covid restrictions, increased donations, increased clients, [and] increased staff, so we've needed to make a number of compromises. Our clients can no longer shop inside our facility. There simply isn't enough space. We often meet with them in the parking lot, in their cars and we'll stand outside,” SASS Executive Director Anne Cummings said. “We want to be able to do our job really well and better serve our clients, our community. Recognizing this, we realized it was time for a larger space.”
The new 7,800 square foot location at 1259 Industrial Drive will allow the non-profit to continue to needing members of the community with groceries, toiletries, winter clothing and even school supplies under its 16 foot ceiling. The vast and varied food pantry will be moved from being mostly in
a basement to within a brand new facility with two drive in truck doors.
Nothing in life is free however. SASS has raised 42 percent of the $850,000 they estimate the move will cost. The Mullick Foundation, which did not respond to requests for comment, has donated the most: $150,000. About $100,000 has come from the SASS board of directors, according to their website. Another $50,000 has come from the Towsley Foundation, $25,000 from the Detter Family Foundation and $10,000 or so form the Bank of Ann Arbor, according to SASS.
The organization has received the unambiguous support from Saline leadership.
“I think it is a great move for them. I am really glad to see them expand and invest in the Saline community. I think people don’t often associate Saline with those in need. But if you know the numbers, there is a very significant population of people who are what the federal government describes as low to moderate income. That means that they’re near or within a certain percentage of federal poverty lines. We have one census block in our community where 66 percent of residents are low to moderate income. So this is a very essential service to support not just the city of Saline but surrounding areas,” City Manager Colleen O’Toole said.
You can donate to this cause if you choose at salinesocialservice.com. There is no minimum donation amount.
“I’ve been involved with them for the better part of six months as they have explored their options and plans for future expansion,” Saline Mayor Brian Marl said. “Saline Area Social Services is absolutely essential. As I’ve said numerous times in the past, all of us will ultimately be judged by how we treat the marginalized, the victimized, those who are struggling and fighting desperately to get into the middle class. I think that Saline Area Social Services provides vital services for those who have a variety of economic needs. I think it is very exciting they are moving. They found a great space and we are delighted that they will remain in the city of Saline.”
The new building is about 2.3 miles away from the current location by the Mill Pond. The new location will is located in between the high school, movie theater and the railroad tracks. The old building will be put up for sale once the move is completed.
Main Image Credit: Saline Area Social Service.