PLATINUM2024

Community Assistance Center (CAC)

Stronger Lives Stronger Communities

aka CAC   |   Atlanta, GA   |  www.ourcac.org

Mission

Community Assistance Center provides basic needs assistance for neighbors to prevent homelessness and hunger while promoting self-sufficiency and empowering them to thrive.

Ruling year info

1989

CEO/Executive Director

Francis Horton

Main address

PO Box 501298

Atlanta, GA 31150-1298 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Community Action Center

EIN

58-1825565

NTEE code info

Housing Expense Reduction Support, Rent Assistance (L82)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

CAC helps individuals and families living in Dunwoody and Sandy Springs who face financial hardships due to loss of income or unexpected expenses. Single parents work two and three jobs to put food on the table. Minimum-wage earners and retirees try to stretch their income as unexpected expenses. While our cities are some of the wealthiest in the country, 50% of our public school kids qualify for free and reduced lunch. 19,500 individuals are food insecure. 17,000 live in households with income of $45,000 or less (20% of those we assist live on $20,000 or less) CAC’ assists low income families to obtain basic needs, food (vouchers to shop in Food Pantry), clothing (vouchers shop in Thrift Store) and shelter (Financial Assistance) and improve household stability and works to help them reach self- sufficiency (Adult Education classes). Many in our community need these supportive services to thrive and that CAC can provide the support that is needed to move up the need’s hierarchy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Emergency Assistance

Prevent homelessness by providing financial assistance to individuals seeking help to overcome a temporary financial setback and conditions associated with poverty. Alleviate hunger by providing a nutritious supply of basic foods and staples for individuals and families.Provide clothing for needy individuals and families. Guide and refer to other organizations when needed.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

Community members adopt youth through CAC's online portal which identifies children by gender and age with their wish lists. Once gifts are purchased, donors deliver gifts to CAC for distribution in time for the holidays. CAC also provides holiday food boxes to every household that has received financial assistance throughout the year.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Provides educational opportunities to clients to teach them skills that can  improve their  personal or economic status.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CAC provides lunches they can prepare themselves during the summer months when they do not have access to free and reduced school lunches. Approx. 50% of Sandy Springs youth qualify for free and reduced lunches. CAC also provides school and grade level specific supplies so youth are prepared for their first day with the same tools as their classmates.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Offers free tax help to low-to-moderate-income (generally, $49,000 and below) people who need help preparing their income tax returns.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CAC's Career Center offers a wide range of services which includes access to training and certification programs, resume and job search assistance as well as connections to local employers. Each client is assigned a Volunteer Career Advocate who provides individualized guidance for those seeking assistance with a job search or career transition.

Population(s) Served

CAC provides gently used and some new clothing and household items to clients as part of our Emergency Assistance Center Program. Clients shop with vouchers for free for needed items for work, school or play. All items are priced extremely low to enable all shoppers to acquire additional items which helps them conserve cash for other needed expenses. The Shop is also open to the public which generates revenue for programs and operations.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of adult learners enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants

Related Program

Adult Education

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Primarily ESOL learners, but with students in financial planning and computer skills classes, as well.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our community contributed almost $1.4 million's worth of volunteer hours across all programs in 2023.

Number of tax returns completed by volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Retired people, Self-employed people, Unemployed people, Adults

Related Program

VITA Volunteer Income Tax Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

A total refund value of $408,416 for 2023, and $277,639 for 2022.

Number of families assisted with rent or mortgage to avoid eviction

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Parents, Economically disadvantaged people, Families, Non-adult children, Unemployed people

Related Program

Emergency Assistance

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

At the end of 2022, CAC doubled its average amount of assistance per household to keep up with demand and average cost of rent, successfully preventing more evictions in 2023.

Estimated dollar value of clothing and household goods donations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Thrift Shop Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The value of clothing given to CAC clients each year.

Number of children who received school supplies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Non-adult children, Economically disadvantaged people, At-risk youth

Related Program

Youth Programs- Summer Lunches & School Supplies

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Estimated dollar value of food donations distributed to community feedings programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families, Parents, Non-adult children, Economically disadvantaged people, Retired people

Related Program

Emergency Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CAC’s mission focuses on two main themes: one, to assist low income families to obtain basic needs, food, clothing and shelter and improve household stability and two, to assist in reaching self- sufficiency. We know that many in our community need these supportive services to thrive and that CAC can provide the support that is needed to move up the need’s hierarchy.

CAC’ s 2020 Strategic Plan has three mission goals constitute the top three strategic priorities for the organization, the 13 other goals focus on the mechanisms to obtain them and best practices.

1. Increase the number of people served by 45% by 2020
2. Increase the number of adults enrolled in Adult Education classes by 95% by 2020
3. Increase the number of clients who are financial independent

Other key goals in the area of Organization Capital, Financial and Processes all support the realization of our mission goals. We will add efficiencies to systems to improve accuracy and maximize the time spent by staff and volunteers working with clients on solutions. We plan to add staff and technologies. We plan to expand to funding, in-kind donations and expand partnerships while securing new partners in order to meet our strategic objectives and continue to develop our high performing Board of Directors.


Currently, we serve about 35% of the low-income population. Our objective is to increase the number of people served by 45%. This required the acquisition of additional space while improving access in both distance and availability to services. Success of our $2.4M Building Hope Campaign made it possible for us to purchase and remodel a 14,000 sq. ft. facility to house an expanded food pantry and Thrift Shop and add a South Sandy Springs Branch office; a fourth site will be added in Dunwoody in 2019.

The two new Branch Offices will serve an additional 800 families throughout CAC’s entire service area including a small area in Doraville, home to students who attend Hightower Elementary (a Dunwoody High School feeder school with “high need and no access to services”). We are pursuing a branch location in the SE area of Dunwoody in collaboration with the City of Dunwoody and the Dunwoody Ministerium Association. CAC will need to invest to set up an operate the Dunwoody office and integrate ALL processes across all four CAC facilities.

A key component of our capacity building is the engagement of all parties in solutions to individual and community challenges based on the Asset Based Community Development model. CAC includes clients in planning and volunteering and is developing a track to groom leaders for positions as volunteers, advisors and board members.

Secondly, we plan to increase the number of clients who become financially independent as their income earning potential grows. Our objective is to increase the number of people who have access to new skills and are able to secure better paying jobs. The program will be piloted with a class of 20 individuals and expand as more training programs and employers get on board.

CAC is poised to make a significant impact in “equitable income growth” by EXPANDING Adult Education and by DEVELOPING a “new” Job Connection program. We will grow our community network in order to provide individualized assessment, training & expanding education offerings, referral and partner services to help current clients and many “new” clients grow their income through access to new skills and better paying jobs.
The opportunity is ripe for CAC as our clients reside in one of the most active Metro Atlanta job markets; we have built strong relationships with local businesses; and have a successful track record of collaboration and partnership thus seeing our role as the perfect “match-maker”.
We will leverage successful education and training programs that currently exist in the community to expand our Adult Education Program; and create a “new” Jobs Program utilizing opportunities in our rich Perimeter area business community. We will seek paid apprenticeships and internships, where individuals can earn a living while acquiring the new skills needed.

In its 31 years of serving the community, CAC has established partnerships and broaden it support. The organization is led by a highly invested board and professional staff, who leverage a volunteer workforce of 400 dedicated experienced individuals. Key partners include the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Second Helpings, Fulton County, and United Way of Greater Atlanta.

In CAC's firs capital campaign, we raised more than $650,000 from member congregations (60%) and individual donors (40%) to fund the 2005 purchase of our building at 1130 Hightower Trail under the leadership of the current CEO/Executive Director. This expanded our capacity by 400% and allowed us to serve significantly more residents and offer more comprehensive services. For the next 12 years, we served 12,760 households, representing 26,000 individuals in our community as compared to 6,500 households in the previous 17 years.

We added a Thrift Boutique operation providing clients choices when receiving clothing and household items. We implemented a "dress for success program" to help job seekers with needed confidence and esteem. The boutique was opened to the public, which added an operational revenue stream of $50,000 annually. We began tracking outcomes and developed a case management model which positively influences results because it engages clients in the process of developing solutions to their unique challenges. In 2007, CAC added Adult Education Programs to offer skill enhancements to 1,598 individuals, many of whom gained greater English proficiency. ESL students are better equipped to survive in an English-speaking country. Learning how to operate computers and their applications provides our clients with confidence to apply for jobs and also use these applications in their daily lives. Career Readiness classes helped clients learn soft skills which helped them secure employment , retain jobs and achieve long-term work success. Financial Management classes give clients tools to create and manage personal budgets thus maximizing their limited incomes. Improved parenting skills through our courses also have profound impact on families. We know that each and every client walks out of our classrooms with a new and brighter perspective in life.
In 2010, CAC began to offer The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and has prepared 2226 returns that have generated $2,141,000 in returns and $1,140,000 in tax credits for clients. Such credits help clients move up in the ladder of poverty, and no doubt have a significant effect in the community where they are spent. Investments in added capacity paid off in many ways for CAC and we are experienced at balancing expansion with business as usual without tipping critical balances of work. CAC has been able to provide our clients.
CAC's 2020 Strategic Plan outlined the key goals, strategies and initiatives for the next 5 years.

CAC is on its way to reaching its 2020 Strategic initiatives have been completed and others are in process of implementation. We completed our $2.4M capital campaign, purchased an additional building, expanded our Food and Thrift operations, added a south city branch. Search is underway for the Dunwoody branch site. We have added key staff positions which include a Food Pantry Manager, Customer Service and Information Coordinator, Thrift shop Manager and Assistant Manager, a Branch Offices Coordinator, and a Resource Officer handling facilities and transportation.

We will be adding an Education and Employment Specialist as well as strengthening the development and communications area over the next 12 months. We are also working to improve technology including phone services, hardware, software and equipment. Continued success depends on hard work but also securing additional resources and funding. In 2019, CAC plan to hire an Employment-Education Specialist who will develop CAC’s Job Connection Program. Responsibilities will include: 1) research of effective workforce development programs, on the job training programs and potential business partners offering employment within CAC's service area; 2) oversight of an employment center when ready to launch and 3) management of program partners.
Employment demand in the Health Care, Construction, Manufacturing, and Technology fields will expand opportunities for all learners.
This will require:
• an assets/needs assessment tool to identify clients’ educational/training needs
• a community assessment to map the gap between job opportunities, available manpower and training needs and opportunities
• research of job market trends
• research of training programs for diverse skills needed
• us to engage current and new business partners
• expand network in the job market that encompass positions with sustainable income
• identifying training level and skills of CAC customers
• research of microenterprise and micro-lending programs
• defining the scope of services to meet clients’ needs
• defining CAC program offerings and implementation plan
• us to implement programs which enhance the economic growth and stability of the clients

Maintaining awareness of community trends and government policies as they affect low income communities is also essential to understanding the needs and advocating for appropriate policies to benefit all in the community.

Financials

Community Assistance Center (CAC)
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Community Assistance Center (CAC)

Board of directors
as of 02/23/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Matt Lindsay

Mather Economics

Term: 2025 - 2022

Dorris Shelton-Gulley

Consumer Counseling Credit (Atlanta)

Doug Hunter

Holder Construction

Owen Dwoskin

FORVIS

Doug Hunter

Holder Construction

Cece Webster

The Coca Cola Company (retired)

Matt Lindsay

Mather Economics

Jennifer Hartz

Corporate Hartz

Richard Hendrix

Finch McCranie, LLP

Matt Lulay

Mather Economics

Nicole Morris

Emory University

Neal Mulford

White Oak Commercial Finance

Christina Porter

Misty Creek Community Church

Rabbi Ron Segal

Temple Sinai

Kevin Stone

Sugarman Law LLP

Mindy Hamer

Community Representative

Arje McCarty

Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Perimeter

Robert Wittenstein

Community Representative

Lauren Baksh

Tracy Pointer

UPS

Bianca Mazzarella

Veritiv

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/19/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data