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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Community Outreach reaches out from new home

Sunday, April 1, 2012

(Photo)
Community Outreach Partnership has moved to this Depot Street location.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
Community Outreach Partnership of Bedford County has moved and is now occupying space on Depot Street in the former Clifford's Furniture building. They had been on Madison Street since opening two years ago.

The two-year-old faith-based non-profit represents a group of local churches of varying denominations who work together to assist families in need. Bedford County has more than 125 churches, and the Outreach seeks to bring those all those organizations and fellowships together, consolidate services and streamline benevolent giving.

Many needs

Ron Adams, a local pastor who leads the group as well as the Bedford County Ministerial Association, says the needs in Bedford County and Shelbyville are staggering.

"Bedford County has a population of 45,000 people. The unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent, and approximately 20 percent qualify for food stamps and lives below the poverty level."

The charity's priority is to provide food and clothing for the needy, Adams said. Beyond that, they plan to establish workshops and educational services designed to bring participants to a full recovery in their circumstances, whether temporary, financial or medical.

By the numbers

(Photo)
Canned goods, among other items, are available for the needy at Community Outreach Partnership.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
In 2011, Outreach provided over 4,000 food boxes and hosted six Second Harvest Mobile Food drives. They provided furniture and clothing to 17 victims of house fires who had lost their personal belongings, and at Christmastime provided more than 750 gifts to local children.

"We provided all this on a budget of little over $40,000," said Adams of the group's stewardship of funds. "However, we couldn't do all this without the support of Tyson and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, who have given generously to support local families."

Adams is quick to point out that Outreach is not in competition with other well-known local charities such as Good Samaritan, but hopes to serve as a partner to other service agencies in the area.