Community Assistance Center, originally known as Community Action Center, was founded by local faith based community members who saw an increasing need to provide and centralize assistance to local families and individuals seeking help in the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody communities. The Sandy Springs Ministerial Association had a vision and formed a 5-member commission, the Community Action Commission, to create a ministry that was sustainable. The commission established the mission and created an organizational structure for an independent agency as well as garnered broader based support for the effort. Representatives from: Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, Sandy Springs Christian Church, St. Jude Catholic Church and First Baptist Church served as commission members.
CAC was formally dedicated on October 11, 1987 and opened its doors for the first time with the support of 10 congregations on November 2, 1987 on the campus of Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church. A year later the Center received its 501(c)(3) status on September 12, 1988.
In 2005, CAC undertook a capital campaign to purchase its own building at 1130 Hightower Trail in Sandy Springs, allowing the expansion of client services, the food pantry and the addition of the CAC Boutique to provide free clothing to those in need and serve as a thrift shop to generate revenue.
With increasing requests for services, increasing donations of food, clothing and home goods and a growing adult education program, CAC outgrew the Hightower building and in 2016 leased space nearby on Roswell Road for an expanded thrift shop and food pantry.
CAC is a volunteer-driven and charitable organization that unites members from throughout the community interested in helping their neighbors in need. Over the years the Center has been supported by 33 local congregations of all faiths and a broad network of donors and supporters including, the City of Sandy Springs, Fulton County, the United Way of Greater Atlanta, foundations, businesses, civic organizations, schools and individual contributors. Supporters provide financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteer manpower.
CAC has transformed itself from a small organization with a part-time director, giving assistance to 200 families per year, to a professional organization offering comprehensive services to 2,500 families a year. CAC has become the “go to” agency when individuals and families in our communities face a financial loss. Since its inception more than 19,000 families have received assistance from CAC. CAC remains committed to its original mission of preventing homelessness, providing basic needs and promoting self-sufficiency to residents seeking assistance in the communities of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody.