Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sunnyvale Community Services

1,797 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services

Mission: To prevent homelessness, utility disconnections, untreated medical problems, and hunger for low-income families and seniors facing temporary crises.

Results: Our proudest accomplishments are providing financial aid and food to every qualified family/senior, turning no one away because we lacked the resources to help them.  However, we did so by “the skin of our teeth.” Four years ago, we distributed $390,000 of financial aid; last year, $610,000.  Four years ago, we distributed $660,000 of food; last year, $1,335,000.  After expenses over $2.6 million, we ended the fiscal year with $5,750 left over.  Need continues to escalate. and we continually try to raise more money and to obtain more food to meet the most basic needs of the low-income clients we serve.

Target demographics: Low-income families, seniors, and persons with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 7,500

Geographic areas served: Sunnyvale residents and homeless clients

Programs: Founded in 1970, sunnyvale community services (scs) is an independent nonprofit agency. Scs is designated by united way of the bay area as the emergency assistance network (ean) agency for the city of sunnyvale, covering zip codes 94085, 94086, 94087, 94088, and 94089, along with the alviso neighborhood of san jose, zip code 95002. The mission of scs is to prevent homelessness and hunger for low-income families and seniors facing temporary crises. The organization provides financial aid, food assistance, case management, referrals, and other support at no charge to clients. The organization's clients are the homeless, working poor, and seniors or disabled persons living on fixed incomes. The organization serves all ethnic, racial, language, age, and abilities groups. Nothing is more basic than the need for food, shelter, and health care. Scs provides financial aid, food, and other in-kind assistance to low-income families and seniors walking a financial tightrope, helping our neighbors to keep their balance when an unexpected emergency strikes: job loss, reduced hours, uncovered or unaffordable medical expenses. The organization's assistance prevents homelessness, hunger, malnutrition, and untreated medical conditions. Keeping families housed with food on their tables and access to medical care is more cost effective, both in terms of dollars and human lives, than dealing with later problems with more expensive solutions. Scs assisted 8,300 unduplicated individuals in fiscal year 2016-17, which was an increase of 20% over the prior two years. The increase was attributed to expanded outreach, as well as a growing need caused by the soaring costs of living and growing income divide in silicon valley. Based on historical trends in food distributions and financial aid, scs forecasts that families and seniors will come more frequently for food each month, and the need for more than one-time financial assistance and case management will continue. The community's safety net: the organization operates a food distribution center at its location in sunnyvale. Food is supplied primarily by second harvest food bank, local grocery stores, bakeries, churches and individuals. Scs is one of the largest seven "transformer" partners of second harvest food bank. Supplemental food, including proteins such as shelf-stable milk and meats, are funded by cash donations. The organization engages over 2,500 volunteers, enabling scs to have deep connections with the community and to keep costs low. The organization is well known for its innovation and efficiency, distributing over three million pounds of nutritious food and fresh produce annually. Scs accepts donations of household and emergency items that are passed through to clients residing in the community. The organization distributed over $1,000,000 in financial aid in fiscal year 2016-17. The average amount of rental assistance per family has increased to over $1,900 due to rising rents and inadequate public transportation. Financial assistance included payments for rent, rental deposits, utilities, medical, and other emergency bills. Prudent and sustained growth: as a community-based nonprofit, the organization strives to have diversified funding sources, and enjoys growing support from individual, corporate, and foundation donors. Scs prudently adds resources based on sustained funding commitments. Over the last six years scs has piloted nutrition activities and added comprehensive case management for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Funding for pilot projects and case management comes from corporations and foundations as well as long-term government contracts. Since 2011, scs has collaborated on nutrition programs with el camino healthcare district, palo alto medical foundation, and kaiser permanente to support healthy nutrition and access to health care. As part of the coalition against predatory payday lending, scs piloted financial education and savings programs to help clients become self-sufficient. In 2012, the city of sunnyvale invited scs to launch a new partnership with downtown streets team to assist homeless individuals gain employment and housing. In 2015, scs launched our supportive services for veterans families program, funded by the u. S. Veterans administration, to assist veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness move into stable housing. Scs educates and advocates on issues tied to the agency's mission to prevent homelessness and hunger. The scs leadership team frequently speaks to business, community, and public sector audiences on the needs and trends affecting the most needy in our local community. The organization owns the building at its sole location in sunnyvale. The agency has a mortgage from the city of sunnyvale, with a one-time principal payment of $400,000 due in 2038. In 2014, scs requested forgiveness of all past and future interest on the loan, and the request was granted, in recognition of the organization's unique role as the emergency assistance agency for the most needy in the community. The organization solicits funding for ongoing needs. In fiscal year 2016-17, scs received several grants at the end of the fiscal year for program costs in the following fiscal year. In the prior year, the organization was also awarded a new three-year grant of $150,000 each year, which was reported as one-time income in fiscal year 2015-16. The board of directors and staff of scs have reserved these funds for future program costs. As part of the emergency assistance network (ean), scs was awarded new contracts in 2016-17 for prevention of homelessness, including a two-year contract beginning in 2017-18 to pilot a homelessness prevention system (hps) through private and public sector funding sources.

Community Stories

55 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and donor of seven years with Sunnyvale Community Services. We are a nonprofit organization that works to prevent homelessness and hunger in our community. We have many programs to help our families, children, seniors, veterans and homeless. As a volunteer in several programs I get to see firsthand how very much we are able to assist our people. Sunnyvale Community Services has the finest and most caring staff. I am truly honored to be a part of this wonderful organization.
LMC44

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services is an wonderful organization dealing with hunger and homelessness. I started volunteering at SCS almost two years ago I love every minute of it. It is so rewarding to be part of something that helps people that have such a need. No one goes away hungry, ever...I started as a bag lady working in the bread section. Bread and pastries are donated, volunteers pick up and more volunteers sort and bag. These items are then given out to anyone who needs them. I also work as a receptionist at the front desk. It is wonderful to be able to greet the clients with a smile and assist them with meeting with the caseworkers who are amongst the most caring, helpful and capable people I have every met. SCS operates with a very small staff who are spectacular and their volunteers. This organization really knows how to do it. It is an honor to be part of SCS and the wonderful staff and volunteers . I hope to be around for a very long time.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

So grateful for this incredible resource in our community. They are innovative and collaborative in finding creative ways to meet basic needs in our community.

Connie48

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone is here to help those less fortunate. No one is ever turned away. No one goes hungry. SCS has great community support.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SCS has been providing wonderful service to Sunnyvale residents for many years.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services has done an exceptional job in providing much needed food and living essentials to the people of Sunnyvale who are in desperate need of our support. I am blessed not to need these services for myself, but I see the way that they benefit my neighbors and that means a lot to me. SCS is well managed, which means that donations are used efficiently and costs are well controlled.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services is an outstanding organization that helps individuals and families in need get back on their feet. They have several programs that reach many different members of our community including the elderly, school-aged children, veterans, and the homeless. My in-laws noticed a woman living on the street in their neighborhood. I called SCS to notify them and they had a case worker there soon after to help her. I have nothing but praise for Sunnyvale Community Services!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of this agency for 40 years, working with their Christmas Center and on their board, and now as a donor. They do so much good for the community, and involve so many willing volunteers, plus most of the donations go to help families and individuals in need, and are not wasted on administration. My nonprofit organization of choice.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The staff and volunteers working for Sunnyvale Community Services are doing tremendous work in Sunnyvale helping to prevent homelessness and hunger in our community. This is a well-run and organized nonprofit focused on fulfilling its mission.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am always amazed at what Sunnyvale Community Services does to help prevent homelessness as well as help those that are homeless to get back on their feet. They also help to make sure that the children of Sunnyvale have enough healthy food to eat. Great job!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services is focused on preventing homelessness and hunger in and around Sunnyvale. They make the best use of every dollar given and every hour committed. Please help us make a difference

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services is run by an amazing team of dedicated, enthusiastic and tireless staff members and volunteers. They provide much needed food and emergency financial aid to low-income citizens of Sunnyvale. I am proud and honored to be on the board of such a well run and effective organisation.

Read more
KJ Griffey

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having been a board member for almost six years I've been able to see all the great strides that are being taken to help our clients get the help the need. Healthy choices of food, temporary housing, and backpacks for the students.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services takes on the challenge to preventing homelessness and hunger.
With the high cost of living in Silicon Valley (rising rents, increased food costs, etc), there are thousands at risk of losing the roof over their head- or having to choose between rent and food. The Executive Director, the amazing staff, dedicated donors, and committed volunteers who all make it all happen. It's true community at work.

Read more

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with SCS for 3 1/2 years and this is a blessing to be part of such a great organization. The clients are well cared for and the volunteers work very hard to accomplish that care. The agency has expanded beyond belief in the time I have spent here and our programs range from food to housing and we try to not turn anyone away. This agency is an integral part of the community and I don't know what we would do without it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services is the final safety net and brings hope, food and shelter to theist needy.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the mix of practical assistance and advocating for policy to address underlying social issues that keep silicon valley unliveable for many of its citizens. Hats off

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services provides a lifeline for thousands of Sunnyvale residents. The agency provides financial support, food, clothing, and various other types of assistance. In December it hosts a Christmas boutique, where local residents come "shop," selecting Christmas gifts for each family member, including Mom (e.g., brand-new kitchen appliances such as waffle makers or slow cookers), and choosing food for the holidays. SCS arranges for monthly food deliveries to homebound seniors, provides weekend food to needy families, and helps hundreds with one-time needs. The agency's staff are uniformly compassionate, dedicated professionals who are committed to helping the less fortunate. It is a true honor to do volunteer work with SCS.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services is a great org. I found out about them about seven years ago. I have been a monthly donor ever since. I found out about SCS because I found out about the needs that we have in our community and the work that they do to help the less fortunate or those that are struggling. I appreciate that SCS leverages my donations to make the maximum positive impact on the community. SCS reflects all the best qualities of Sunnyvale and its volunteers.

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services is a fantastic resource in our community. They truly care about the people they are helping. They are excellent at maximizing the value they provide from the donations they receive. They are fantastic about engaging the community to help people who are in need.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services really helps the Sunnyvale low income families. Many have nowhere else to turn to. They are well respected in their area.

Review from Guidestar

2 Carol191

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Service cares!!! Their clients are treated wonderfully and above all else with respect and dignity. I've been volunteering with them for the past several years and love helping them out with the Christmas Center in December. They have so many opportunities for your to volunteer and it will truly help families in our community!!! At this moment, the company I work for is putting on a Back to School Supply Drive for the children of their clients. It is so rewarding to see how grateful the parents and children are. Visit their offices and you'll get hooked!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i know Sunnyvale community services as a donater. They are of great service to people in need and making it wonderful to donate time or goods. Proud to have a well run organization in my community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my children were young and both myself and my husband were out of work Sunnyvale Community Services helped to make it possible for our children to play soccer and to swim at the community pools. This allowed them to still have a normal childhood and not feel different from the other kids. This small act of kindness stayed with me and I have been donating to SCS for many years and am currently helping out as a volunteer. I am always impressed with the efficiency, resourcefulness and dedication that I witness whenever I am able to help out. SCS provides vital services of quality and care whether it is helping someone with their rent payments, finding shelter & blankets for another or making sure that a child has a new backpack filled with school supplies. Each client is treated with dignity and compassion. I highly recommend Sunnyvale Community Services!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

SCS is very compassionate and efficient with their resources. They are able to effectively leverage volunteers from the surrounding residential and business community that serves to enlighten others on the plight of poverty and hunger locally.
I'm so proud to be able to help SCS in a small way and proud to be associated with them.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

In the high cost Bay Area, many people struggle to make ends meet. And that's where Sunnyvale Community Services steps in with everything from case management services to food and school supplies. Our neediest residents are supported by a dedicated team of volunteers and staff committed to preventing homelessness and hunger. It's an honor to be a small part of such a well-run organization.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services fulfills its mission to prevent homelessness by offering emergency financial assistance to people who are in temporary crisis and in danger of losing a home as a result. The impact that this has on the community in reducing homelessness and in making a difference in the lives of children cannot be overstated.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have lived in Sunnyvale for twenty years and have always been aware of the essential support that SCS provides to the community. Last year I was appointed to the Board and I am even more in awe of this organization! The staff is extremely dedicated and has been able to bring in more funds and services to address the ever increasing needs of our poorest citizens. Recently, more services have been added such as case management, fresh produce distribution, etc. I am very grateful that our City has such a strong and effective emergency assistance network!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services takes on the challenge that many are not willing to do. We are committed to preventing homelessness and hunger.
With the high cost of living in Silicon Valley (rising rents, increased food costs, etc), there are thousands at risk of losing the roof over their head- or having to choose between rent and food in their bellies. We stop that! And I am inspired daily by the dedicated Executive Director, the amazing staff, dedicated donors, and committed volunteers who all make it all happen. It's true community at work.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services staff and volunteers are very focused on their mission. They treat their clients as human beings and work extremely hard to help those in need.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

SC works tirelessly to meet the needs of the Sunnyvale community. Their connections with all corners of the community are impressive. This allows them to not only to spread the work about the needs of so many in the community, it also helped the organization stay in tuned with real community needs. When an agency like this is truly integrated into the community, every part of the community benefits.

1 Leanne U.

Donor

Rating: 5

SCS has done outstanding work for countless families and individuals for decades. Year round they provide a variety of services, support and opportunities to meet the needs of all those who request a helping hand. This is a wonderful organization.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

From back-to-school supply drives to food donations to year-round support for all who need it, SCS is truly an exemplary community services agency in that they serve all citizens within the awesome city of Sunnyvale.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The people at SCS go above and beyond to meet the needs of their clients. Through the many different programs they run throughout the year, they serve the Sunnyvale community in the ways it is most needed. Especially great stuff with their backpack drive to provide children with the supplies they need to succeed in school and their variety of food aid programs assist a very needy population.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SCS is an outstanding organization and provides quality services to many Sunnyvale residents. Volunteers are welcomed and treated well so are willing to keep coming back to help out.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SCS provides food and services to families and seniors in dire straits in Sunnyvale. It has an organized pool of dedicated staff and volunteers who work to prevent homelessness and hunger, which are very serious and real problems. Hundreds of families rely on the products that the SCS distributes every week. Their works is amazing and you can see that in the client's gratitude messages. I am happy I can help SCS by volunteering there in my free time and I will continue to support them and their cause.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sunnyvale Community Services does an outstanding job supporting those in need in our community

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board member almost 12 years and also volunteer in the Christmas center.
Unfortunately, the need continues to grow in Sunnyvale, so business is booming. The agency provides financial aid, food, information & connections to other agencies who can help and compassion.
Donations help fill the bags of food, cover an unexpected bill or provide basic, necessary items that so many of us take for granted.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer here for 3 years, it does a wonderful job providing for the community and I am a proud volunteer.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at the weekly produce distribution, the guests receive this and a monthly food allocation. SCS also delivers food to those guests who are unable to make the trip to the center.

At Christmas time the guests are able to get gifts for all of their family members. Just this must make a huge difference to those who are going thru difficult times.

SCS is a wonderful organization and I am proud to be able to take part in it.

SWright

2 Ginny C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Sunnyvale Community Services for over 15 years. This organizations services those in need in Sunnyvale with a monthly food program and other emergency assistance.
At Christmas time the Clients are allowed to shop for their groceries and family gifts.They have also provided their clients with other fun programs like A day Full Circle Farms and the Health Fair. They do this with a minimum of paid staff and a wonderful group of volunteers. Volunteers are treated very well. They are given challenging duties if they want like leading a group of volunteers. You really feel you're doing something worhwhile.