The South Brevard Sharing Center Inc. (SBSC) was founded in 1971 as a non-profit, community based agency whose mission is to support, strengthen and empower families to achieve self-sufficiency in south Brevard County, FL.
This assistance includes food, clothing, household items and financial vouchers for prescriptions, utilities, rent and other miscellaneous items through case-managed services. Seasonally, the Sharing Center also provides food and gifts over the holiday season, as well as backpacks with supplies for children to start the new school year.
Forty years ago, four local church women's groups started a program to supply local residents in need with food and clothing. Working under the auspices of the local Catholic diocese, they successfully survived their first year in existence and in 1972 more local churches joined in supporting the cause. Using money from individual donations and various fundraisers, the group expanded their focus. They conducted an outreach program to benefit Native Americans and migrant workers in the area. They also saved enough money to construct the first building to house the South Brevard Sharing Center at 1617 Oak Street in Melbourne, FL in 1973.
In order to economize, and in deference to the organization's origin the fledgling agency shared the building with Catholic Social Services, who used the building one day each week and reciprocated by paying the phone bill. After a monetary gift from the local churches, in 1974 the South Brevard Sharing Center was incorporated and the board took over governance from the local diocese. In 1975 the agency achieved non-profit status and formally separated from the diocese. The years rolled by and the South Brevard Sharing Center continued its mission to help local people with the basic necessities of life. Periodically, additions were made to the original structure to meet the growing need for assistance. Often, local businesses stepped up to help by donating time, talent and materials which helped the Center grow and meet the needs of the local community.
In 1980, Patricia Hansen joined the agency. She would go on to provide 26 years of guidance and leadership as the Director. It was during her tenure that the South Brevard Sharing Center moved to its current location at 17 E Hibiscus Blvd in Melbourne, FL. The Center also expanded its services with client service and thrift store facilities in Palm Bay. By 2006 when she stepped down as director the agency's structure was very much as it is today. In keeping with its traditional role, the Center continued to provide emergency, short-term assistance to those in need using only income to gauge a client's eligibility.
Today, the South Brevard Sharing Center continues to offer help and hope to individuals and the community. The agency provides food, clothing, health and hygiene items, furniture, and even financial assistance when funds are available. Under the leadership of Michael Hubler the agency has made great strides in modernization, reporting and accountability to our supporters and clients. In 2003, SBSC began participating in HMIS, the Housing Management Information System. This database allows us to track service provision and utilization provided by us and the ten other non-profit organizations which comprise the data network in Brevard County. The system is a crucial facet of our operations. Additionally, we use GiftWorks software to track donors and donations and to provide us with lists of newsletter recipients as well.
Our current focus is to expand the scope of our services to provide life-skills to motivated clients who want to change their lives for the better. Our board and new Executive Director, John Autry, are working together to help break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness that affects so many of our neighbors. Mr. Autry's extensive experience in social care work will strengthen and revitalize our efforts.
We sincerely appreciate the support that has allowed us to continue our mission in the local area. We are proud to provide help and hope to local families and look forward to a future in which we can continue to make a positive difference in Brevard.
President - Keri Donald
Vice President - Joyce Boudrie
Treasurer - Dan Burden
Secretary - Brandy Mammay
Past President - Paul Forsberg
Past Treasurer - Marca Fronk
Executive Director - Joseph Kline
Director - Nicholas Bedard
Director - John Butler
Director - Robert Chasin
Director - Lisa Conroy
Director - Fern Kicha
Director - Pastor Aaron Olinski
Director - Ted Ostovich
Director - TJ McMahan