WESTERN COMMUNITIES ACTION NETWORK INC

aka WeCAN   |   Mound, MN   |  www.wecanmn.org

Mission

WeCAN is a community nonprofit that empowers and equips individuals and families to reach stability and self-sufficiency.

Ruling year info

1986

Executive Director

Christopher Anderson

Main address

5213 Shoreline Drive

Mound, MN 55364 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1466409

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

WeCAN was founded in 1989 to address the lack of social service programs for low-income families in Western Hennepin County. From emergency assistance to food support to helping our clients with job skills, WeCAN is in existence to help, support and inspire.

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?

Jobs Program

JOBS PROGRAM - PROVIDES UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE WITH EMPLOYMENT COUNSELING, CAREER DEVELOPMENT PLANNING, TESTING, REFERRALS, JOB AND TRAINING PLACEMENT AND RETENTION FOLLOW UP. PROVIDES AREA EMPLOYERS A FREE LISTING OF THEIR OPEN POSITIONS. SERVED 70 PEOPLE.

Population(s) Served

MEALS-ON-WHEELS - HOT DINNERS ARE DELIVERED TO HOMEBOUND SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO ENABLE THEM TO LIVE LONGER IN THE COMFORT OF THEIR OWN HOMES. SERVED 73 PEOPLE.

Population(s) Served

FAMILY SUPPORT - PROVIDES VARIOUS FORMS OF ASSISTANCE TO FAMILIES IN NEED. EXAMPLES INCLUDE EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE WITH RENT, UTILITIES, OR OTHER ESSENTIALS; CONNECTIONS WITH HEALTH CARE COVERAGE, BIRTHDAY GIFTS, SCHOOL SUPPLIES AND QUILTS. SERVED 338 PEOPLE.

Population(s) Served

HOUSING / ADVOCACY - PROVIDES ASSISTANCE IN LOCATING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN 12 CITY SERVICE AREA

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

WeCAN's mission is to empower and equip individuals and families to reach stability and self-sufficiency. Our vision is that children, individuals and families will thrive in a vibrant community with access to resources and support services.

Many of our clients have multiple barriers, such as transportation, childcare, and are sometimes juggling multiple jobs. A high number of clients also struggle with mental health issues and can become easily overwhelmed with layers of bureaucracy, complicated forms, and being sent to multiple agencies. Bus service extends to only 3 out of 12 service area cities and no other public transit is available. A significant number of the population commute to more populated areas towards the metro area for employment, increasing their transportation and daycare costs.

Our goals are to connect those in need to emergency resources that address immediate needs, to family resources and counseling that promote stability, and to provide employment and education support designed to develop self-sufficiency. We also work with our clients to develop their own solutions and when necessary, refer them to additional services throughout our service area.

WeCAN offers multiple social services, many in partnership with agencies housed in the WeCAN facility in Mound, MN. The intentional array of services under one roof is designed to address immediate needs and emergencies, and to provide support that will contribute to stabilization and self-sufficiency. Access to multiple services at the same time and under the same roof greatly increases the likelihood of clients following through with referrals and receiving the help they truly need. The Urban Institute reports that “Research supports the effectiveness of providing services in a coordinated manner to address the multiple needs of those in poverty and move them toward stability and self-sufficiency." (Urban Institute, 2011). We also see first-hand that clients feel more comfortable when we can make a personal hand off available and continue to communicate and advocate on their behalf if needed. Initially clients meet with our Family Advocate who works with them to create an Individualized Work Plan. The WeCAN Family Advocate helps the client focus and encourages him or her to plan three steps to take towards stabilization. For instance, a client may have lost his job and can't pay rent. Step one would be to meet with Hennepin County financial services to see if he qualifies for financial support. If not, WeCAN can step in with a one-time grant for rent assistance. Step two might be to access personal care products offered to help stretch the family's budget, with step three being to meet with the WeCAN Career Initiatives Counselor to discuss job opportunities.

a) We will continue to build and nurture our partnerships with community organizations, school districts, social service agencies, the faith community, community members, and businesses to enlist resources, fill service gaps, and stay up-to-date with emerging trends and needs.

b) The agency is expanding into a vacant space within our complex (next door) in order to better accommodate our site-based client resources (food, toys, outerwear, blankets, school supplies) and to increase efficiencies for our staff and meeting/counseling spaces. Remodel for this space will begin in May 2017.

c) Staff will develop additional tools for assessing our programs including pre- and post-surveys in order to measure the impact our support is having on the stability and self-sufficiency of our clients.

d) Executive staff and board members are focused on building an agency operational (business) model that ensures adequate investment of both public and private resources and allows for the creation of reserve funds to sustain and fulfill our mission, especially considering the current political climate. Our goals is to have a reserve fund of $239,850 (6 months of operating expenses).

WeCAN is the only social service organization providing a comprehensive array of programs and services in one location designed to regain and retain stability for families and individuals in our service area. While we are proud of the progress we've made, there is always more work to be done. We look forward to expanding our facility, thereby increasing our capacity both in number of people served and in the comprehensive slate of services we are able to offer.

Financials

WESTERN COMMUNITIES ACTION NETWORK INC
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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WESTERN COMMUNITIES ACTION NETWORK INC

Board of directors
as of 3/23/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Rick Rohrer

Chris Fischer

Orono Police Department

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No