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CSS announces major expansion plans

For The Catholic Week

ROBERTSDALE — Operating in the original building since 1984, Catholic Social Services of Baldwin County is undergoing an expansion of its facilities. Mrs. Marilyn King, director of Social Services for the archdiocese, announced the $600,000 project will allow To Be Options for Women to relocate into the main building and replace the current portable buildings used to sort/store items for the successful Thrift Store.

More than 20 years ago, a physician’s group in South Baldwin County donated a large double-wide office trailer to CSS for use in its ministries. In addition to CSS having used it for Legal Immigration Services, counseling, and To Be Options for Women, trailer space over the years was shared with CSS community partners including Family Promise and Legal Services of Alabama. Due to the age and ongoing deterioration of the trailer, an exciting new plan was developed to replace it.

According to Mrs. King, the expansion will increase office space by 1,154 square feet so To Be Options for Women, pregnancy and parenting ministries, can be included within the main building. The inclusion of To Be in the main building will provide faster and increased access to emergency assistance and counseling services currently offered at CSS.

The Thrift Shop, operated mainly by volunteers, will have a new sorting/donation processing area of 1,833 square feet. Over the years, dedicated volunteers and staff have operated out of five small portable buildings to accomplish their tasks. The new space will allow them to be able to work directly within the store and keep them out of the weather.

Gross sales from the Thrift Shop in 2018 were $104,711. Profits from the sale of donated new and used merchandise are generated for use in the emergency assistance ministry. Case workers can also provide vouchers for clients to receive free clothing and household items.

The need for additional storage space at CSS will be met with the addition of 1,000 square feet of storage space built adjacent to the Thrift Store. CSS Programs such as REACH (school supplies), Christmas Sharing, holiday meal distributions, and disaster response will be enhanced by this addition.

Mrs. Phyllis Beam is the Office Director for Catholic Social Services’ Robertsdale Office and supervises all of its’ on/off-site activities.

To become a volunteer with this exciting and active ministry, contact Mrs. Beam at 251-947-2384.

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