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These two Dawson County nonprofits will soon be neighbors
Family Connection move
Dawson County Family Connection will soon move from 96 Academy Avenue to 45 Medical Center Drive, in the other half of the building also occupied by Good Shepherd Clinic.

A prominent Dawson County-based nonprofit will move to a keen new location in the near future, right next to a like-minded organization. 

Following a tentatively-approved no-lease agreement, Dawson County Family Connection is expected to soon relocate from 96 Academy Avenue to 45 Medical Center Drive, in the other half of the building also occupied by Good Shepherd Clinic. 

That’s right behind the CVS off of Ga. 53 and Ga. 400, which is also near the forthcoming Peaks of Dawsonville complex. 


This story continues below.

A prominent Dawson County-based nonprofit will move to a keen new location in the near future, right next to a like-minded organization. 

Following a tentatively-approved no-lease agreement, Dawson County Family Connection is expected to soon relocate from 96 Academy Avenue to 45 Medical Center Drive, in the other half of the building also occupied by Good Shepherd Clinic. 

That’s right behind the CVS off of Ga. 53 and Ga. 400, which is also near the forthcoming Peaks of Dawsonville complex. 

As Family Connection’s financial agent, the county via the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement between the nonprofit and Northeast Georgia Health System on Oct. 20. 

Now, BOC chairman Billy Thurmond can go ahead and sign off once legal counsel approves the agreement, said county attorney Angela Davis. 

The IT and facilities departments are prepared to move forward with the transition, county manager David Headley said. 

Dawson County Family Connection’s director, Rebecca Bliss said they’re ready to begin the move as soon as the agreement is signed, which is expected to happen within the next few weeks. 

Family Connection is a nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk children and families through offering clients resources centered around fostering and adoption assistance, skills-based parenting classes, food and other necessities. 

Good Shepherd is a medical clinic offering non-emergency health services free of charge to uninsured people who live in Dawson County and meet certain income requirements, according to the nonprofit’s website. 

Interestingly enough, Family Connection’s decision to move came in light of a separate county department’s expansion. 

For the past few years, Dawson County’s Board of Elections and Registrations’ voter turnout–and dually the need for space–has been growing, District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines 

said on Monday.

The need for more election space has only become more imperative with the enactment of new voting laws in Georgia, Gaines said, necessitating Family Connection’s move by the end of the year to open up that space. 

He added Family Connection hasn’t had a permanent home for many years, as its personnel were often moved into county buildings with free space. 

Gaines helped facilitate the agreement process. Back during the spring, he looked at multiple spaces with other officials.

“One thing that popped in my head was Good Shepherd (the clinic building) because there could be some crossover,” he said. “Both nonprofits do a lot of good things in the community.”

Gaines knew the medical nonprofit wasn’t utilizing all of the space, owned by the hospital system. After he met with the hospital’s realty team, they were gracious enough to work with Family Connection, too, and the initiative was able to come to fruition, Gaines said. 

Now, the nonprofit that aids vulnerable children and families can have a permanent home. “We’re excited about moving and getting things finalized,” Bliss said. “I think we’ll be able to touch or reach a lot of people in the area.”

Good Shepherd’s Board of Directors chairman, Tony Passarello, spoke to the complementary services that the two nonprofits could offer clients, some of whom may be served by both organizations. 

“We believe the synergy will benefit the Good Shepherd Clinic as far as awareness of the clinic and the services we offer, and that’ll allow us to reach more patients,” he said. 

District 3 Commissioner Tim Satterfield thanked county staff involved in the planned move as well as Headley and Passarello.

“Anything we’ve asked of them, they’ve stepped up,” Satterfield said of Good Shepherd. “It’s great to have them over there. If you look at the numbers, they take care of a lot of people in this county that wouldn't be taken care of and would be a burden on our system if they weren't taken care of.”

Thurmond also agreed with the partnership prospects between the two nonprofits and their general missions to both help vulnerable people. 

“They can criss-cross some of the things they do for citizens, so it’s just a win-win,” Thurmond said. 

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