Louise Benson founded Sacred Heart Community Service in 1964 to feed hungry families in her neighborhood.
Today, providing essential services to individuals and families in need remains one of Sacred Heart’s core strategies. The organization has also evolved into a respected and innovative provider of programs that assists families with achieving lifelong economic self-sufficiency and a grassroots organizing network that addresses the root causes and consequences of poverty. Sacred Heart moved into its current facility in 1998, where today it meets basic human rights such as food, clothing, and housing assistance, while at the same time offering the tools for self-sufficiency, including employment assistance, family mentoring, and adult and youth education programs. In 2008, Sacred Heart was selected by the State of California to be the Community Action Agency for Santa Clara County. This designation formalized Sacred Heart’s role as a regional leader and conveys a responsibility for developing countywide solutions to poverty. With the additional responsibility and resources, Sacred Heart has expanded its existing essential services and self-sufficiency programs both internally and through formal program collaborations, strengthened its community engagement work, and developed community organizing and advocacy initiatives. In 2009, Sacred Heart was named the new energy services provider for Santa Clara County by the State of California, further expanding the agency’s role in financial assistance provision and leadership within the county safety net.