Community Assistance Network (CAN)
Helping People. Changing Lives. The Community Assistance Network, Inc. (CAN)'s mission is to work in partnership with the community to develop, operate, and support programs that reduce vulnerability and promote personal growth, stability and self-sufficiency among low-income residents.
CAN is a Baltimore County-based non-profit organization, established in 1965 as part of a national network of over 1,000 Community Action Agencies.
Community Assistance Network is proud to be a GuideStar Platinum Participant, demonstrating our commitment to transparency.
The War on Poverty
On January 8, 1964, United States President Lyndon B. Johnson declared "War on Poverty" during his State of the Union Address.
Johnson introduced his list of initatives proposed to Congress and stated, "Our aim is not only to relieve the symptoms of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it."
This legislation marked the beginning of the Food Stamp program, expansion of Social Security benefits, Head Start programs, the Job Corps, VISTA programs, and set the stage for the No Child Left Behind Act.
Over the years, these programs have modified from Johnson's initial proposals. However, many of these programs survived the change in leadership and have grown into some of the most successful anti-poverty programs.
Along with our flexibility and grassroots status, Community Assistance Network is part of a larger network of community action agencies. We are one of 17 members of the Maryland Community Action Partnership and one of more than 1,000 agencies who make up the National Community Action Partnership.
Our mission in its simplest form, is to provide programs to help low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. In the last 50+ years, thousands of employees/volunteers have impacted the lives of millions of Baltimore County residents. Our programs have changed, but our mission has always stayed true.
CAN has offered Head Start, Project Self-Sufficiency, Financial Assistance, Budget Counseling, Transportation Asssistance, Housing Assistance, Job Readiness Programs, Food Pantry, After School Drop-In, Community Service Opportunities, Service Learning Programs, Nutrition Workshops, Watt Watchers, Weatherization and much more!
Visit our Programs & Services Page for more information on CAN's current available services.
One basic question we are often asked when speaking to groups is, “How does CAN help thousands of low income families and individuals each year?”
Our answer is always the same, “We could not do it without the partnerships we have developed during our 40 years of service to the community.”
Our domain name “canconnects” is meant to highlight that fact. In a given year we have more than 500 partners in the community who assist us and our clients as they strive for economic and social self-sufficiency.
The network was designed to work in partnership with the community to develop, strengthen and support programs that reduce vulnerability among the poor as well as promote growth, stability and self sufficiency among low-income residents of Baltimore County.
This reinforces the most basic principle of the Community Action Partnership:
"Helping People. Changing Lives."
50 Years of Excellence
November 1, 2015 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Community Assistance Network.