CEO Message

A Message From Our CEO


"Every one of us in CAANH – from the Board of Directors to our staff and volunteers – know how it is to struggle with debt, family issues, sickness, and other life challenges that threaten to cripple us. We also know how to turn lives around – with information, collaboration, hard work, a clear vision, and a lot of heart.

When I joined in 2006, CAANH was in debt, riddled with scandal and inefficiencies. We took a hard look at ourselves, got back on our feet, and set on the path of growth and operational excellence. What fueled us was the vision of creating empowering experiences for individuals and families who came to us for help.

We take our mission to heart: CAANH offers pathways to prosperity to those in poverty in the Greater New Haven Area through service, collaboration, advocacy, and knowledge generation.

Established in 1978, CAANH focuses on helping individuals and families with limited resources face complex issues. Working across sectors with community partners and state agencies through strategic delivery of resources, we are dedicated to helping individuals help themselves and each other.

Today, through our programs and services, we continue to serve over 28,000 low-income individuals and 11,000 families in New Haven, East Haven, Hamden, North Haven, and West Haven.

Next year we will celebrate our 40th year as a community action agency changing the world one person, one family, one block at a time. We are working smarter: continuously developing our staff to be responsive change agents and using technology to be more efficient.

In 2017, we continue to focus on providing timely services to our client families and on strengthening our collaboration with federal, regional, state, and community leaders. We continue to implement and evaluate our programs within the framework of Human Services Infrastructure (HSI), Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA), and Results-Based Accountability (RBA). We are taking steps to build a network of systems that share electronic information to enhance customer service, outcomes, and agency efficiency.

This is an exciting time for CAANH. We look forward to 2017 and serving our community as the officially designated anti-poverty organization in the Greater New Haven area.

At the end of each day, we ask ourselves: are we making a difference in people’s lives? With you by our side, how can we not?"
Amos L. Smith, MSW, LCSW
President & CEO