CONNECTIONS
IN COMMUNITY

IMPACT REPORT 2021

Impact Report 2021

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A Message from the CEO

Listening deeply to the needs of community changed how we worked this past year. We learned anew the power of our hearts as we came together across the county to help, to heal, and to hold one another through crisis and uncertainty. Our agency strengthened its whole-person, whole-family approach to meeting people where they are.  We saw results.

At locations across Marin, our frontline team of Success Coaches helped ensure that people’s most basic needs were met. Staff took the time to understand people’s priorities in their respective journeys to self-sufficiency. We opened new service hubs in Marin City and San Rafael to bring together childcare, basic needs, and stabilization supports. The data proved us right—more people received more support to stay housed, keep warm, and remain connected.

We also prioritized employee well-being in 2021, doubling down on mental health supports to staff with trauma-responsive training and increased benefits. We created an Equity and Well-being roadmap to link our Whole Family Focus to our team’s sense of belonging and power in order to create stronger internal support and systems for change that fostered better outcomes in community.

This year, Community Action Marin’s Impact Report demonstrates our collective strength and flexibility in the face of difficult realities. It underscores the urgency of our focus on equitable recovery and the need to maintain that focus. Working side-by-side in efforts across the county to foster innovation and sustainable solutions that work for those most in need, we built trust and supported impact at individual, agency, and community levels. I’m excited to share now the results of our efforts in partnership with you.

As you read, take in the stories and testimonials. The data are powerful, but they do not stand alone—there are people in the numbers, and their experiences are in part reflected here.

Because we will continue to do what’s needed in the work of increasing racial and economic justice in Marin, I invite you to dive in. If you’re capable of giving, please take a minute to donate to our Step Up Community Fund. You are a partner in making our impact stronger and our pathway forward together in community more hopeful.

And if you’re ever in need, call us—we’re in your corner.

Chandra Alexandre
Chief Executive Officer

I am proud of the wonderful work of Community Action Marin. Through their services and programming they transform the lives of our most vulnerable residents and set them on a path towards success. During this unprecedented time [COVID-19 Pandemic] for our community, the agency’s team was on the frontline alongside County government helping our residents get through this difficult time. Thank you, Community Action Marin, for all that you do to make Marin a much better community for all!

—Supervisor Dennis Rodoni, President, Marin County Board of Supervisors

   SAFETY NET

Our safety net programs work to meet emergency needs. These efforts kicked into overdrive as the pandemic deepened and many families and individuals confronted extreme hardship. In the face of sustained high need and inequity, we delivered unprecedented amounts of cash, rental assistance, and other resources to help those facing crisis find stability and hope.

SAFETY NET
Cash Assistance

$K

$320,000 provided in direct cash assistance to approximately 640 families and individuals

SAFETY NET
Rental Assistance

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$1.8 million provided in rental assistance to approximately 1,200 families and individuals

SAFETY NET
LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program)

$K

$570,000 provided in energy assistance to over 890 families and individuals

*Cash, rental and LIHEAP assistance provided through June 30th.

Community Action Marin has been extremely helpful during the pandemic. They’ve helped me locate resources that I didn’t know were available. They’ve also assisted me in paying my PG&E bill.              

 —Energy Assistance Recipient

SAFETY NET
Homeless Outreach

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Each Month

More than 50 people served in our homeless outreach program each month 

homeless woman

M. had a history of childhood trauma, lacked access to resources, and suffered from serious health conditions relating to long term alcohol use and homelessness. The CARE Team worked to get her medical treatment, getting a copy of her birth certificate, an ID card, an EBT card and access to food. Despite challenges, the team found her a detox center and transferred her Medi-Cal out of County, and when she completed the program, CARE helped her re-establish her health care back to Marin. 

The ongoing assistance and guidance of the CARE Team supported a completed ACCESS mental health assessment and qualified for Specialty Mental Health case management services through Odyssey. After more than a year of working with her, M. finally was approved for a housing voucher and the CARE Team helped her locate an apartment and secure furnishings.

  CHILDREN and FAMILY SERVICES

Our Children and Family Services 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.

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Share of students who improved in LANGUAGE and LITERACY

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Share of students who improved in SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL development

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Share of parents who were SATISFIED with the program

An explicit goal of our program is not just child progress, but providing families the tools and resources that they seek to support their child and their own development. 

Our parent surveys show 97% overall program satisfaction; 97% said their children are happy, safe and feel like they belong; 94% said program helped them with employment, education or caregiving. There were large increases in the percent of families reporting that their needs have been met in various aspects of life and parenting.

Percent of parents reporting needs met in:

Learning activities to help children grow

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Spring
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Support Network and Community Engagement

Fall
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Spring
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Health

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Spring
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This past year we focused on strengthening our newly integrated program operations in our agency. Facing continued stresses from COVID-19, we connected many families to additional safety net assistance: 2/3 of families in our child care program also received cash, housing or energy assistance. Our programs truly support the whole family! . 

During the pandemic, the importance of integrated services became even more clear. Going forward, we have opened a new site in downtown San Rafael—the De Colores Children’s Center & Family and Safety Net Services Hub. This site will provide both child care and access to rental, cash, and energy services, we hope to see the impacts of this year-round bundled programming in years to come. 

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Parent Testimonials

”This program allows for my partner to work full time and for me to attend school. It is very educational and a kind environment for my child.”

— Program Participant

”Si, este es un programa muy rico en recursos no solo para los niños sino para la familia entera. El personal del salón de mi hijo/a hacen un excelente trabajo.”

— Participante en el programa

  

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Economic Opportunity programs provide workforce development and financial coaching to help individuals and families achieve their goals and move towards economic stability and prosperity.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Sparkpoint

Through our Sparkpoint programming, we offer one-on-one financial coaching. We help participants not only to identify their goals, but to realize them. Our coaches assist clients with budgeting, making savings plans to start new businesses, and guidance to build better credit scores—helping clients powerfully gain control of their money. This past year we served 209 clients in Sparkpoint. 

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Savings, credit or debt improved by 30% or more

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Would recommend to a friend

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Feel more confident in themselves

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Every year during tax season, we provide assistance with tax preparation, in particular ensuring that 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 return over $128,000 to approximately 100 families.  

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$128,000 returned to families during tax season

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
Workforce Accelerator

This past year we ran a workforce pilot for homeless or unstably housed women providing comprehensive services across education and training, small business advising, career counseling, stabilization and basic needs, health and wellness (including mental health support) and financial coaching. The goal of the program is to partner with each woman to create stabilization, financial, career, and health and wellness plans and to work with them to achieve success in these areas with a focus on employment at a livable wage.

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66% of participants saw improvement in ability to live on their incomes

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80% of participants reported stronger support networks

Accelerating Pathways

I’m moving forward to put in practice what we learned. I am so grateful, thankful to be a part of a program like this. It came at a time when I welcomed it. I lacked motivation, and a support system. The support I received was everything. It helped me develop in a way where I feel positive about where I’m going, what I want, and how to get there. It’s made me become a better person and willing to be more supportive to others. 

  —Workforce Accelerating Pathways to Thrive Participant

   MENTAL HEALTH

We provide services free of charge to those with mental health needs as well as their family members and friends. Many services are delivered by trained Peer Support Specialists who have lived through their own experiences with mental health challenges, and so they’re able to relate to people at their most vulnerable moments. We seek to provide community members with an atmosphere of warmth and caring whenever they should need it. 

MENTAL HEALTH
ERC and Warmline

The Enterprise Recovery Center (ERC) is our drop-in peer support center, which this year took the shape of over 475 one-on-one counseling sessions, and 48 group sessions.  We also offered 72 classes to educate peers in best practices to support clients in need. We also took 4,400 calls for over 1,200 hours to the Warmline, a call-in service where trained Peer Support Specialists are available by phone for anyone who feels the need to talk.

Similar peer-supported programs have helped reduce hospital visits by 50%. For every avoided hospital visit, approximately $3,000 is saved by individuals, families and the community.

Calls to the Warmline — 1,223 hours of support  (English and Spanish) 

Clients receiving Family Partner services

Crisis Stabilization Unit Families

Clients assisted with crisis planning
(Of the 63 clients we assisted with crisis planning, 2/3 reported decreased need for intensive support)

Clients receiving Youth Mentor services

From FY 2022 onward, the Enterprise Recovery Center and Warmline no longer operate out of Community Action Marin.

soulful moment. portrait of mother and her beloved son with disability in rehabilitation center

“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. But I needed help with rent too because of the difficulties in our family with mental health.

“They got me to Community Action Marin’s Safety Net Services team. I didn’t even know this kind of help existed! Unless you’re living with someone who has serious mental health issues, you cannot fully understand how impactful it is. Because of the agency’s help, I have a path forward filled with resources and reminders to take care of myself. I am forever grateful!”  

—Phyllis, Mental Health Services Client

   EQUITY INITIATIVES

As the largest social services non-profit in the county, we are committed to racial and economic equity. Marin ranks as the first most racially disparate county in California with well documented inequities. We’re working to change these realities so that all of us have the opportunity to achieve our dreams.

EQUITY INITIATIVES
Food Justice

Food justice means good, healthy food for all. Our Central 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 135,000 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 thousands of pounds of food and some of our bounties included:

Recognizing that our families’ needs were extremely elevated, with 71% of our families reporting some level of food insecurity, we provided over 40,000 pounds of take-home groceries. Over 50% of our families reported this was an essential source of food for them. 

The Central Kitchen is also home to many food entrepreneurs working to grow their own businesses and contribute to Marin’s economy.

Feeding over 500 families daily

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40,000 pounds of food distributed last year

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135,000 meals and snacks provided last year

I think people would be shocked to know that there’s whole neighborhoods that experience real food insecurity. It doesn’t necessarily mean hunger, but it affects every area of wellness. I see food justice as people having choice over what they consume. Having the ability to grow food if they want to grow food. Having the land access to grow food. Having that security of not having any trauma related to food is extremely important. 

       —Leah Walton, Registered Dietitian & Farm Manager, Community Action Marin

EQUITY INITIATIVES
Marin City

In spring 2021, we launched a new partnership with Bayside MLK school, where we provide safety net services onsite and connections to our other programs. This partnership has meant we are able to strengthen connections with an area and population that has been historically underserved and support them as needed.

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Being onsite helped us accommodate more than 80 client visits in just over a month. Our team reached even more new people and more older adults through walk-ins, appointments, and pop-up events.

EQUITY INITIATIVES
Community Impact

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92% of families in our Children and Family Services program reported completing the census.  

10,700 people were at risk of eviction in Fall 2020 when we successfully advocated for an expansion of the eviction moratorium and a rent freeze. 

We not only focus on providing the best quality services to those in need in Marin, but also work at a policy and systems level to build a more just, equitable county where everyone can thrive.   

“Bank of America shares Community Action Marin’s belief that personal and financial stability is driven through equitable access to resources and support. Community Action Marin has a proven track record of lifting people out of poverty and onto the path to self-sufficiency by addressing the continuum of care from emergency safety net support to health and family services, to financial and workforce coaching, cash and rental relief to child care.  Success depends on equity.”

-Amy Loflin, Senior Vice President Napa, Marin, Sonoma, Bank of America


Community Action Marin is an important part of the safety net for the residents of not only San Rafael but throughout Marin County. They provide crucial support in many areas, including food security, community health and broader issues like housing and job access. I see them as a true partner in these efforts and was delighted when they recently applied for and won a national Mayor’s Innovation grant to further the good work they are doing. The City of San Rafael has deep appreciation for their continued efforts to help our residents thrive during these challenging times.

-Kate Colin, Mayor, City of San Rafael

EXPANDING OUR SERVICE REACH

Community Action Marin is thrilled to have opened two new locations this year, expanding services to communities of need.

Marin City

Community Action Marin has expanded service delivery onsite at Bayside Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy in Marin City through a collaborative partnership. The location will give Marin City residents the opportunity to receive on-site safety net, financial, career, and credit coaching services, with access to faster, more efficient referrals to the agency’s mental health services and Marin City childcare, including its Head Start operations.

READ MORE

MarinCity

De Colores

Located in downtown San Rafael, De Colores is a comprehensive children, family, and safety net services hub. Both Early Head Start (serving children 0-3) and preschool classrooms for children 3-5 are offered, as well as the agency’s safety net supports to community, including rental, energy, and cash assistance. Agency staff also ensure referrals to community partners to help people get from crisis to thriving.

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DeColores

Get the 2021 Impact Report Now