Did you know…Sans Souci’s first Executive Director, Marlene Dollinger still works with us today. Over 35 years ago, a group of concerned citizens wanted to improve our community and make it a better place to live and work. Sans Souci was born and has been serving the Bartholomew County community since 1979. While our location and programs have changed over the years, our aim has stayed the same, improve the ability of our neighbors to support themselves “without worry”.
Since Sans Souci’s founding we have been dedicated to collaborations and partnerships. In the beginning, we answered service calls for the Salvation Army and helped them develop a presence in Bartholomew County. We also worked with a mental health facility which offered to help youth build skills. This group of young people wrote plays on important social topics and spread awareness in our community via their performances. The last program we collaborated on in the early years was Birthline. Birthline is an organization offering programs for infants and mothers including toy lending libraries and mother’s day out opportunities.
Many buildings across Columbus were homes to Sans Souci, including storefronts on Twelfth Street, Sycamore Street, Jackson Street, State Street. Our current location is at 1526 Thirteenth Street across from the United Way building. Throughout our moves we have grown and expanded our impact on the community. We currently serve over 50,000 paying customers and over 4,000 free assistance clients each year.
Today, Sans Souci focuses on three main initiatives in an effort to improve our community: our low cost program, our no cost program, and our employee development program.
Our low cost program is our Community Thrift Store. This program provides low cost necessity and non-necessity items to community members in an attempt to help them stretch their dollar further.
Our no cost program provides necessity items to those in need at no cost to them. Every year this program provides over $100,000 of needed goods including clothing, shoes, and coats. Clients who take part in this program are eligible for vouchers every four months. While intake specialists will ask some preliminary questions about income and living expenses, we very rarely turn away those who are asking for help. Sans Souci believes that numbers don’t always reflect need, and we do our best to be accommodating for a wide variety of situations.
Our employee development program is focused on combating the root cause of poverty and improving the lives of those who choose to work and train with us. We provide both full time and part time employment to individuals with weak labor market prospects who need additional job training in order to find higher wage employment. Building skills and personal relationships is at the top of our list for helping our employees to prosper. In 2017 we provided over 1,000 hours of paid training to our staff members. Additionally, our program works with outside resources and agencies in order to ensure that our employees are receiving any additional assistance which they may require in order to set them up for future success.
As you can see, Sans Souci has a long history of making a difference in Bartholomew County. We promise to continue upholding the high standards of conduct you have come to expect from us. We will also continue keeping your donations in our community to improve the lives of everyone in Bartholomew County.