A Message from the CEO
PATHWAYS FOR RECOVERY, COMMUNITY STRENGTH, AND WELL BEING IN MARIN
As I look back on 2022, it’s plain to see that there is still a lot of work to do to repair the disproportionate impacts of the pandemic on people of color and people of low income. The reality is that racial and economic disparities existed long before the pandemic, and they will continue to be part of Marin County unless we take bold action.
Together, a focus on community well-being will take us toward strengthened outcomes for all who live here. As this Impact Report demonstrates, direct services like childcare, utility assistance, or career and workforce training are only part of what’s needed.
Advocacy too is critically important so that policies shift toward justice. Our vote, our voice, our minds open—we will empower a shared yearning for meaningful change, and we will make it happen.
Dive into the numbers, testimonials, and reflections here to learn more about how we are helping people and transforming lives. From one-on-one coaching to efforts that have created new laws to protect thousands of people, our staff, volunteers, and community members like you have created unstoppable momentum toward a more equitable future.
Let me invite you to join us. If you’re capable of giving, please donate to our Step Up Community Fund to help increase our impact and make the pathway forward ever more hopeful.
And if you’re ever in need, call us—we’re in your corner.
Chief Executive Officer
DURING A YEAR OF RECOVERY FOR MANY INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES IN MARIN, our Safety Net programs worked continuously to meet emergency needs. We delivered unprecedented amounts of cash, rental assistance, energy assistance, and other resources to help Marin residents find stability and hope.
EXPANDING UTILITY ASSISTANCE We have always played an important role in helping with energy needs, so that Marin families and individuals can be at home in comfort and safety.
We worked this past year to expand our services to include Water Bill Assistance, which began in July 2022.
NEW SAFETY NET SERVICES HUB IN SAN RAFAEL In August 2021, the De Colores Children’s Center and Family & Safety Net Services Hub opened in San Rafael in partnership with Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church.
The site is a comprehensive service center offering childcare, family services, and access to safety net supports, including rent, energy, and cash assistance.
The new center has both Early Head Start facilities (serving children 0-3 years) and preschool classrooms for children 3-5 years old.
provided in direct cash assistance to approximately 276 families and individuals
LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
provided in energy assistance to over 941 families and individuals
provided in rental assistance to approximately 339 families and individuals
people served per month
“I’M GRATEFUL that
i GREW UP in the canal
because it gave me the opportunityto realize how lucky I am to have programs like Community Action Marin, to help families like my family get through everyday life situations. That makes me realize that it is possible for every child, for every family to have the opportunity to have what I had. And without organizations like Community Action Marin, those opportunities would never be there.
John Lam, Principal Dancer Boston Ballet
Former Preschool Participant
CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
Our multi-disciplinary team provides high-quality education, health, and social support, to over 500 children and their families. Our programs include center-based childcare, home-based care, family childcare homes, and school-age programs, all with wraparound health, nutrition, and family services.
EXPANDING CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES IN SAN RAFAEL In August 2021, we expanded our services through a new location. Strategically located in San Rafael, the site is a comprehensive service center less than two miles from the Canal District and easily accessible by public transportation. We know that when families have access to free and affordable childcare, the economy recovers and people thrive.
“This program and staff are constantly going above and beyond to meet my family needs. I couldn’t be more satisfied with their support. Thank you for the support you bring to the parents by caring for our children while at work.”
Ms. L., Parent and Community Leader
Share of students who improved in language and literacy
Share of students who improved in social and emotional development
Share of parents who said their children are happy, safe, and feel like they belong
Share of parents who said the program helped them with employment, education or caregiving
Our Mental Health & Well-Being Services provide an atmosphere of warmth and caring, and help people living with mental illness find their own way to thrive. Community Action Marin is committed to providing those who seek services with the activities, support, and connections they need. We ask questions, provide resources, and guide you on a path to healing.
“MY son was
increasingly paranoid, volatile, and isolated, and I needed help. The Family Partners team helped me to navigate the county’s mental health system, join a support group, and become an advocate for what my son needed.”
Phyllis, Family Partners Participant
“MY LIFE IS
GOING TO CHANGE so MUCH; IT HAS ALREADYbeen a struggle. I really appreciate having another mother to talk to now. I have new motivation to stay clean and sober.”
Allison, Family Mental Health Services Participant
Clients reported an increase in a natural support system and feeling more stable and
Families and youth received services that increased their self-reliance and ability to self-advocate
Individuals received tailored mental health support to meet their individual needs
WHEN COMMUNITY MEMBERS COME THROUGH OUR DOORS, we offer them more than just the tools they need to meet the basic requirements for survival. The agency’s staff is committed to creating pathways for people to thrive, to help individuals and families achieve their goals and move towards economic stability and prosperity.
Through our one-on-one financial coaching, we help participants identify their goals, and realize them. Our coaches assist clients with budgeting, making savings plans to start new businesses, and provide guidance to build better credit scores—helping clients gain control of their money.
This past year we served 381 clients, AN 82% INCREASE OVER THE PREVIOUS YEAR.
Over half of SparkPoint clients received other services from Community Action Marin, usually financial and career coaching, which has been shown to improve long-term financial outcomes for clients.
VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE
Every year we provide help with tax preparation, ensuring families are able to claim relevant credits and deductions to reduce their tax burdens. While COVID-19 meant we delivered services remotely, we were still able to increase the amount returned.
Our high-touch career coaching and job training pathways support individuals with attaining employer-recognized certificates and credentials, and obtaining employment in high-demand professions.
Savings, credit or debt improved by at least 30%
Would recommend to a friend
Returned to families during tax season
Feel more confident in themselves
“Good food for all means having access to appropriate and nutritious food for everybody in the family before birth to very old age. Everyone in the community deserves access to good food.”
Leah Walton, Nutrition Services Manager
WE BELIEVE IN GOOD HEALTHY FOOD FOR ALL. Our Commercial Kitchen and Organic Production Farm provide tasty and nutritious meals that are fresh, seasonal, and culturally appropriate. Over the course of the year, we provided over 341,693 meals and snacks to children in our programs. The farm is not only used to provide vegetables and fruits for these meals, but also as a classroom.
THE FARM PRODUCED:
142.3 pounds of cucumbers
40.5 pounds of bok choi
44.5 pounds of cabbage
17.5 pounds of cilantro
14.5 pounds of kale
21.5 pounds of carrots
12.25 pounds of collard greens
313 pounds of lettuce
81.5 pounds of tomatoes
42.8 pounds of zucchini
FIVE MINUTES FOR FOOD
In October 2021, Community Action Marin launched its #FiveMinutesforFood campaign. The campaign was designed to start a conversation about what we can do together to make healthy, good food accessible to everyone in our community.
We encouraged people to watch our Good Food for All Video over Thanksgiving. We also distributed a Good Food for All Discussion Guide in English and Spanish to provide ideas on what people can do to improve food access in Marin. Watch the Video and Download the Discussion Guide: camarin.org/foodjustice
“I was homeless for five years in Marin.
Community Action Marin saved my life. I got my case manager. She put me up in hotels, she got me clothing vouchers and toiletries. She kept telling me, I’m not letting you go back to the streets. She kept her word too. It’s pure dedication, not giving up, really in your corner, really there for you.”
Kelli McMains, 2022 Community Courage Award Recipient
WE WORK together with partners across government, community, and the public and private sectors to ensure that everyone in Marin has the ability to lead a life of dignity on pathways to self-sufficiency and thriving. With a shared vision for equity, our work together is to move into action for change.
EQUITABLE PANDEMIC RECOVERY STRATEGIES
Together with three other front-line community-based organizations we advocated for local policies to meet the recovery needs of Marin’s low-income, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and historically undercounted residents who were disproportionately affected by the far-reaching impacts of the pandemic. In January 2022 we released a report pointing to systemic inequities in housing insecurity, economic instability, and persistent COVID-related health emergencies and put forth a call-to-action for local recovery efforts. We supported local ordinances to meet immediate needs through a rent freeze, a moratorium on evictions, and funding for rental assistance and homeless services. We continue to advocate for the creation of a stronger, equitable, and more resilient Marin County for all.
COMMUNITY VOICES DIGITAL ADVOCACY
We developed a series of short, storytelling videos that were designed to tell the story of our racial and economic equity work, lift up the voices of community, raise awareness of needs, and inspire increased engagement and support. The voices in these videos are our clients, who deserve recognition as valued community members and leaders. The videos are available online at camarin.org/camvoices
NEW COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN FOR MARIN
Community Action Marin released its 2022/2023 Community Action Plan in September 2021. This plan is a key part of being a Community Action Agency and helps us plan for creating better outcomes for our community. Over the past year, we’ve worked to build this roadmap on surveys and experience from our collective work, and it has been made stronger with feedback received from the community.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND MARIN’S SAFETY NET
Community Action Marin was one of six agencies nationwide selected to participate in the COVID and Safety Net Innovation (CASI) Technical Assistant Initiative, designed to explore the resiliency of Marin’s safety net in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered challenges in the American safety net while, at the same time, sparking ingenuity and innovation in how federal, state, and local programs support the needs of vulnerable individuals and families.
PARTNERING WITH BANK OF AMERICA TO ADVANCE RACIAL AND ECONOMIC EQUITY
With the COVID-19 crisis leaving more families vulnerable to economic uncertainty, the call to expand services and reach more people in need became even more critical. Community Action Marin received a $60,000 grant from Bank of America in July 2021 to support the agency’s work in advancing racial and economic equity throughout Marin County.
This partnership is critical in our work to eliminate the causes and consequences of poverty in Marin County. This support is expanding our efforts to reach more individuals who are at risk of homelessness or are experiencing challenges making ends meet.
Specifically, we’re able to scale critical programs to support hundreds of additional families and individuals with basic daily needs and much more—from paying utility bills and pfroviding rental assistance and emergency funds to avoid eviction, to keeping childcare centers open for essential workers and offering financial coaching to help families remain self-sufficient.
Get the 2022 Impact Report Now