Southside Unlimited

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$5,683 raised by 25 donors

95% complete

$6,000 Goal

Matt and Robin Rhoades founded Southside Art Center in 1986. They wanted a place for both people living in the community and people coming out of developmental centers to work alongside each other and get the supports they needed through the arts. Matt and Robin wanted to create a place where people could express stories of their lives through art and improve the quality of their life through selling their art for profit. Over the past 35 years, Southside has grown to support over 200 participants in five cities in the greater Sacramento region in art, employment and volunteerism.

In 2017, Southside Art Center went through some major advancements! We changed our name to Southside Unlimited to reflect how Southside has grown and changed in response to the needs of people with developmental disabilities. We redesigned our art program and opened Work of Art Studio and Gallery, an inclusive art space where people with and without disabilities can work alongside each other creating individual and collaborative works.

In 2020, Southside Employment Services expanded their services and support workers with developmental disabilities to find and retain employment in local Sacramento businesses. Within the first year of its launch, almost 15 people have gotten a job, increasing their confidence and financial independence.

Finally, the Passage Program works with participants who communicate their needs using behavior. Passage supports the participant to meet their needs in other ways, so they are able to have meaningful work volunteering in the community. This has been especially important during the pandemic, where Passage focused on supporting the participant and their family, during the shutdown, and transitioning everyone back to work when Southside reopened. 

In November 2021 Southside's co-founder and Executive Director Robin Rhoades retired after more than 40 years in the field. Katherine Wallen is now the Executive Director, and is excited to continue Southside's Mission, and stay a leader in providing support to people with developmental disabilities in the Sacramento area. 

Southside Unlimited supports adults with developmental disabilities, including people with Down syndrome, autism, intellectual disability, and cerebral palsy. Many participants have a dual diagnosis of developmental disability and mental health. Participants are referred to Southside by Alta California Regional Center. Southside currently supports over 200 participants in four cities: Sacramento, Elk Grove, Galt and Auburn. Southside Unlimited has an operating budget of approximately $4 million per year. It receives funding from Alta California Regional Center, Southside's recycling business, as well as private donations.


Southside creates a forum that applies the medium of opportunity, blending artistic expression, personal progress, and active citizenship toward individual empowerment. We see people with developmental challenges as full citizens of the community who have the ability and the opportunity to contribute to society, prosper financially, and make decisions that affect their lives.


Southside has over 55 employees dedicated to carrying out our mission each day. Operational funding support for rent, utilities, and administration costs supports the day-to-day operations of Southside so its participant's dreams can come true!

Southside has a small Board and is always looking for Board Members who are passionate about our mission of supporting adults with developmental disabilities to live full lives!

Equity Statement

Southside Unlimited celebrates cultural differences and ensures a workplace where there is representation, inclusion, solidarity, and ongoing education to change mindsets and encourage personal growth. We believe this lays the foundation for a safe workplace and the groundwork to make positive change!

Organization Data


Organization name

Southside Unlimited

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Human Services

Operating Budget

$1,000,001-$5 million

Organization Need

Funding: Unrestricted, Board Members, Technology, In-Kind Donations

Demographics Served

Individuals with disabilities

Local Counties Served

Placer, Sacramento, Yolo


8345 Folsom Blvd Suite 101
Sacramento, CA 95826

Service areas

Elk Grove, CA, US

Sacramento, CA, US

Auburn, CA, US

Yolo County, CA, US



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