“Many people do not stop to consider the fact that the quality of life of Sarasota (like that of any other community) rests upon the qulity of life of its people.”
-Dr. Kay Glasser, Co-Founder
More than 30 years ago, the late Dr. Kay Glasser had a vision for delivering health and human services in a more efficient way.
Through her volunteer efforts, she developed an alliance of public and private philanthropy. A seed money donation from the Schoenbaum family was instrumental to the creation of The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center which officially opened in March of 1990. The tenant nonprofit agencies have occupied their minimal-rent spaces with no additional maintenance or utilities costs ever since.
Founder Dr. Kay Glasser’s purpose for the Center was twofold – in her own words, “to provide accessible and affordable service to low income people” and “to save agencies operational dollars so that they would have more resources for services.” That was in 1988.
Today, almost 30 years later, we remain true to her concept, providing a “one-stop” center for those in need that is home to 17 human service nonprofit agencies on one 5-acre campus of 14 buildings. Our business model is charitable. We charge our tenant partner agencies $8.50 per square foot per year, which covers approximately 50% of our annual expenses to run the Center. Their nominal rent includes all utilities, security, maintenance, cleaning, and building insurance.
Why are nonprofit centers important? Tenant partners report that they are better able to achieve their goals (the center’s name lending additional credibility) by maintaining stronger revenues, delivering higher quality services, operating larger programs, and benefiting from improved staff morale, recruitment, and retention.
In 2017, our Center’s tenant partners touched the lives of over 45,500 individuals in our community through 97 programs delivered by over 180 staff. The economic impact is profound, as the tenant partners’ budgets totaled over $16.8 million dollars. Those dollars help to offset and alleviate burdens on other major social welfare systems such as healthcare, the criminal justice system, and education.
The Center’s operational expenses are covered by the agencies’ rent payments, grants, returns from investments held at local foundations, and donations from generous community members. In 2018, the Center expanded its services by being the local contact for the expanded and enhanced 211 program, administrator of FEMA, Season of Sharing, and Publix Charities dollars for those in need.