Mineral Springs Advocates, Inc.


In 1972 a group of parents and concerned citizens of Fannin County formed a support organization for developmentally disabled individuals and their families.  The Fannin County Association for Retarded Children, Inc., a non-profit corporation, was the name of that first organization.  It was through the efforts of this group that a center was established to serve children and adults with developmental disabilities.  The Fannin County Special Care Center opened March 26, 1973 with 16 clients.  The Fannin County Association for Retarded Children operated the center through their executive board.  A year later the center began serving Gilmer County.  The name was later changed to The Fannin-Gilmer Association for Retarded Citizens, Inc.

As the center grew the need for a larger building arose.  The Fannin-Gilmer ARC applied for and received a grant to build a new building.  The ARC was responsible for raising the local match money for the grant.  The building was built in the Mineral Springs area of Blue Ridge, hence the name was changed to Mineral Springs Center.  The center continued to be operated by the ARC executive board until 1985, when it became necessary to separate the center into a separate corporation.  At the same time, there was some legal difficulty with the name Association for Retarded Citizens.  The group then chose to change their name and incorporate as the Fannin-Gilmer Society for Mentally Handicapped, Inc.  In 2011, the name was changed to Mineral Springs Advocates, Inc. to better reflect the activities of the organization.  The center was incorporated separately as Mineral Springs Center, Inc. with a different board of directors.  It, too, was incorporated as a non-profit organization.

In 2000, the Fannin-Gilmer Society for Mentally Handicapped, Inc. applied for a grant to remodel the building.  Again the organization had to raise money to meet the match required.  Fannin County helped with the match by in-kind donations and financial donations.  After 21 years, repairs needed to be done.  The needs of the center had changed as well.  The building was remodeled inside and out and a large new workshop added.  The renovation was completed in 2002 and we now have a beautiful facility that is very functional.

As owner of the building and property of Mineral Springs Center, Inc., Mineral Springs Advocates, Inc. continues to support services for the developmentally disabled by maintaining and repairing the building and grounds of Mineral Springs Center.  Mineral Springs Advocates also pay for limited dental checkups and repairs for consumers who have no other means of obtaining dental services, purchase appliances and equipment as needed at the center, and purchase Christmas presents for consumers who have no family or limited resources.  The organization also provides an annual Christmas dinner for Mineral Springs Center staff and a Christmas breakfast for staff and consumers.  Each year several fund raising events are held to allow the Mineral Springs Advocates to support the Mineral Springs Center.  Also, memorials in lieu of flowers have been made by families and friends of loved ones who have passed away.

The current MSA Board Members are:

Teresa Ross (President)

Jan Howard (Vice President)

Martha Newman (Treasurer)

Gayle Harper (Secretary)

Dee McBee (Member at Large) 


Want to learn more about us?

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Mineral Springs Center, Inc.

P.O. Box 28

35 Circle Dr

Blue Ridge, GA 30513

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Mission Statement: 

Mineral Springs Center, Inc provides community access and personal support services to adults with ID/DD with the focus on prioritizing independence, purpose, and meaning as defined by each individual.   


Vision Statement: 

Lives filled with confidence, 

acceptance, laughter, 

challenges, achievements, 

friends, and opportunities to be active members of a community who values each individual’s abilities and companionship. 


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