GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - A Georgia lawmaker is teaming up with a local health system to help fight poverty in the Greater Savannah area.
On Monday, July 15, State Representative Carl Gilliard will announce the opening of the Empowerment Center in Garden City. The center is a partnership between Representative Gilliard’s Feed the Hungry Program and St. Joseph’s/Candler. Together, these two organizations will be responsible for bringing in local and state organizations to provide resources to those living in poverty.
“So this is going to give people the chance to get careers, give people a second chance with the companies, to get them into those jobs and careers,” said Rep. Carl Gilliard, D, District 162.
“Prior to this, they were just kind of left on their own and had to swim on their own, so this is extending a hand to them to try and get them back on their feet," said Paul Hinchey, President & CEO, St. Joseph’s/Candler.
During the recession, Representative Gilliard started his Feed the Hungry Program to help families in need across the Greater Savannah area. Every year, the organization hosts a series of community holiday dinners where people are able to receive a hot meal and even Christmas gifts for their children.
Thanks to the opening of the Empowerment Center, Representative Gilliard says those who benefit from a hot meal will now be able to receive more assistance.
Starting this week, the Empowerment Center will be able to help people by connecting them to groups and programs that could help them with their future, whether it be going back to school or buying a home.
Gilliard says the center is focused on offering a hand up, not a hand out.
"We were giving out bags of food to thousands of families. If Ms. Jones is still in my line after years, I have failed her. This is changing the narrative and getting Ms. Jones back on her feet," said Representative Carl Gilliard, District 162.
Representative Gilliard is expected to hold a news conference Monday morning to discuss the different resources that will be offered at the center. It will begin at 10 a.m.
To celebrate the opening of the building, the center will be hosting a number of special events this week.
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