The Midtown Assistance Center, an interfaith organization of the nonprofit ministry, held its grand opening Wednesday morning, inviting members of the community to tour the new facility.
Formerly located in the basement of the Atlanta First United Methodist Church, the Midtown Assistance Center is moving to its new location on Spring Street, located directly across from The Varsity.
All Saints Episcopal Church offered MAC the Spring Street space earlier this year after Atlanta’s FUMC began using its basement to continue its local affordable housing efforts.
Jenny Jobson, executive director of the Midtown Assistance Center, said All Saints Episcopal Church has supported the organization for years and continues to be one of MAC’s loyal community partners.
The commercial space housed Goodfellas Pizza before the restaurant moved to its current location at the corner of 14e and state streets. The new facility offers more than twice the square footage of the previous location, increasing the organization’s workspace from approximately 1,600 square feet to 4,700 square feet. Midtown Assistance Center employees and volunteers have spent the summer months renovating and stocking the Spring Street space, preparing it to serve the community in a greater capacity than before.
The Midtown Assistance Center is a product of five Midtown religious congregations that joined forces with local nonprofit Midtown Alliance in 1986 to provide free resources to low-income Atlanta residents. Today, MAC garners support from 11 local congregations and is also supported by businesses and other religious organizations in the area.
The non-profit organization offers a variety of services to low-income residents struggling to cope with the city’s ever-increasing cost of living. MAC operates a fully stocked food pantry available to Atlanta residents participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Customers can schedule appointments to pick up items from the pantry or place orders for delivery to their homes or temporary accommodations through a partnership with delivery service DoorDash.
The move to the Spring Street location allowed MAC organizers to increase their pantry space, allowing the organization to store more groceries and personal hygiene items long-term. Jobson said the increased space also allows MAC to give each customer larger amounts of food with each order.
The Midtown Assistance Center has also increased the size of its waiting room and customer service desk, where customers meet with organizers to discuss their financial situation and needs. MAC’s previous location could only serve four customers at a time, while the new location can serve eight customers simultaneously. Clients can schedule an appointment online or over the phone to meet with a MAC staff member and discuss financial assistance options, including assistance with managing rent and utility payments.
Dorothy Chandler, the organization’s former director for 24 years, said the new space at the Midtown Assistance Center creates more opportunities for the organization to serve the community.
“MAC’s philosophy has always been, ‘You want to do enough to really make an impact,'” Chandler said at the end of the tour.
The Midtown Assistance Center’s physical growth is pushing the nonprofit’s leadership to expand its reach to other parts of Atlanta as inflation makes previously affordable communities become financially inaccessible to low-income households. and medium. Jobson said that while the MAC is growing, the organization’s mission remains the same.
“We’re not the same little Midtown Assistance Center we were in 1986,” Jobson said. “We pay attention to where people are moving because affordable housing is the number one crisis facing the families we serve.
The Midtown Help Center accepts donations through PayPal and contributions through the Amazon Wishlist.
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