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

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sunnyvale Community Services

1,773 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

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at SCS for several years, and every hour I spend is always well worth it. This group really knows how to put their volunteers to good use and will never turn away people that want to lend a helping hand. The pleasant atmosphere, friendly staff and excellent organization keep the place running like clockwork.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer for SCS since 1999 and have enjoyed what we are doing. It's a great group of people and I think we do a great job for the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got to know Sunnyvale Community Services through the work they did with our son's cub scouts pack. We found that they were one of the only organizations that accepted such young volunteers and used the
boys' time effectively, and yet safely. Since then we kept coming back as a group and as a family. Now I come back weekly, because I know that the hours I spend there will always be put to good use. The relationship with the clients, the atmosphere, and the well-organized staff are all outstanding.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working With Sunnyvale Community services has brought a huge change in my life. They made me realize how one can bring a change to the lifes of others by just investing a couple of hours of their lives. They are one of the very few centers in the region who provide fresh weekly food to the needy and underprivileged. They are very organised and being with them is just like being a part of a family. Its a pleasure to work with such a great team.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is always a privilege to volunteer at an organization that treats the needy with dignity, respect, and smiles!