A Look Back At A Historic Year And What The Future Holds For NFCC
By Tara Gary
Home is what most of us consider to be a place of comfort, where we spend time with our friends and family, relax after a long day, share meals, and sleep in our comfortable beds. This past year our homes took on a new meaning. Home became the office, a classroom, your favorite restaurant, the gym, an art studio, the library, and maybe even a comedy show. While many have felt frustrated by lockdowns, we may have taken the luxury of having a place to call home for granted. COVID-19 created a global health and economic crisis. For some the economic factors were and still are catastrophic. The number of families choosing between paying the rent or mortgage versus paying for necessities has significantly increased leading unfortunately to escalating homelessness and hunger percentages.
For nearly 40 years, North Fulton Community Charities has served residents in the cities of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, and Roswell. North Fulton Community Charities’ mission is to build self-sufficiency and prevent homelessness and hunger in our community by providing emergency assistance and enrichment programs.
Who they help:
- NFCC assists individuals and families with emergency need in North Fulton
- The communities they serve include Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, and Roswell
- North Fulton has a growing population of economically marginalized families serving over 3,500 last year
- The average wage needed in North Fulton for a two bedroom apartment is $21, but minimum wage is only $7.25
How they help:
- More than 100 local families receive food everyday from NFCC
- Last year NFCC distributed over $1.4 million dollars in emergency financial assistance
- Their clothing and education programs serve an average of 1,100 per year
- Over 1400 adults take their life skills and workforce readiness classes yearly
- Over 1,000 families benefited from NFCC’s holiday programs for warm coats, Thanksgiving meals and holiday toys
How you can help:
- Donate: Your monetary gifts support programs that build self-sufficiency in our community, additionally gifts of food, clothes, and household items are a huge help
- Volunteer: Time generously given to NFCC equals 52+ full time employees
- Shop at the Thrift Store: Open Monday – Saturday (closed Sunday’s), proceeds help support the mission
- Advocate: Advocate for unmet needs and services, host or attend a Poverty Simulation, and spread the word about the mission at NFCC
The NFCC Food Pantry provides clients with a monthly points allowance. A computer inventory system allows the client to choose what they receive from the pantry. This allows the client to obtain what they need in a dignified and private manner, while minimizing waste.
The NFCC Thrift Shop provides bargain shopping six days a week and is open to the public. The retail income helps support the operations and programs provided by NFCC. Vouchers for the store are available to qualifying families. Inventory changes daily. Visit the NFCC website for special events and sales at the store.
NFCC kicked off its 2020 holiday programs by providing warm coats, Thanksgiving food, and a holiday toy shop where parents were able to select gifts for their children. Over 1,000 families were served and over 3,000 children benefitted through this program. In addition, holiday baskets were provided to seniors as well as a sponsored family program.
Hundreds of organizations, businesses, and individuals volunteered and contributed to make these programs possible.
“We are so thankful to our community for coming together to make this year’s holiday programs possible,” said NFCC Executive Director Holly M. York. “It was a monumental undertaking to have these programs safely during COVID, but we knew these programs that are always important to the families we serve, were especially important this year. We are so happy that we were able to deliver a little holiday spirit to our neighbors.”
The NFCC holiday program was presented by Convergence Acceleration Solutions (CAS), Gillman Insurance Problem Solvers, Mount Pisgah, and Northside Hospital. Triton Claim Management, DataScan and Trailsend Foundation also sponsored the program and space was donated by Hubert Realty Company and Malon D. Mimms Company. Bike Alpharetta and Trader Joe’s partnered on the program.
NFCC recently announced its Growing with Purpose capital campaign to fund much-needed renovations to existing facilities that house its food pantry and the NFCC Thrift Shop, and the construction of a new two-story 18,000 sq. ft. Service & Education Center located across the road from its current facility. These capital improvements will increase NFCC’s capacity to deliver specialized support, programs, and services to help families meet their basic needs, achieve self-sufficiency, and strengthen the North Fulton community. To date, NFCC has raised more than $5.8 million (95%) of its $6.2 million capital campaign goal.
NFCC took advantage of facility closures during the pandemic to renovate the food pantry and Thrift Shop. The expanded food pantry and lobby reopened to clients in early August. The Thrift Shop reopened after Labor Day. Construction of the new two-story, 18,000 sq. ft. Service & Education Center began in June and is expected to be completed in early 2021. The Barbara Duffy Center, named in honor of NFCC’s first Executive Director who retired in 2019 after nearly 30 years of service, will serve as the point-of-entry for individuals and families and provide the space needed to expand and improve integration of Emergency Assistance/Case Management with Workforce Development and Education programs.
“As the North Fulton community continues to grow, so must NFCC to sufficiently meet current and future needs,” said NFCC Executive Director Holly M. York. “We have been providing programs and services out of two over-crowded and inadequate facilities for nearly 15 years, one of which was a leased building that housed our Education programs and was recently sold, requiring us to temporarily relocate to donated space nearby.” “We planned for and began our expansion prior to the pandemic in order to meet current needs and accommodate long-term growth,” said York. “However, the pandemic has further accelerated the need for emergency assistance and demand for our Workforce Development and Education programs as families seek to get back on their feet and find and return to work as quickly as possible. We are incredibly grateful to our early donors who understand the urgency we face and quietly made major gifts to seed the campaign and help us get these projects well underway.”
Lead donors to the campaign include Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, City of Roswell, Eagles Nest Church, The Fraser-Parker Foundation, The Imlay Foundation, The James M. Cox Foundation, JM Family Enterprises and Data Scan, The Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, LexisNexis ® Risk Solutions, LocumTenens.com, Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church, North Point Community Church, Roswell Presbyterian Church, Roswell United Methodist Church, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, The Truist Foundation, The Tull Charitable Foundation, The Vasser Woolley Foundation and two anonymous friends of the charity.
For more information about NFCC’s Growing with Purpose capital campaign and plans for growth, please visit https://nfcchelp.org/growing-with-purpose.