Since 1981, we have led the effort to end poverty in Somerville. We have been at the forefront of advocacy for our community and at the center of collaboration with service organizations.



The mission of CAAS is to reduce poverty among local families and individuals while working to counteract - and whenever possible, eliminate - the societal conditions that cause and perpetuate poverty.



The CAAS Homelessness Prevention Program serves Somerville residents who receive an income of up to 125% of the federal poverty guideline. The CAAS Head Start program mainly serves children from Somerville and Cambridge families who receive an income of up to 100% of the poverty level (for example, $22,350 for a family of four) and a limited number of families up to 130% of the poverty guideline ($29,055 for a family of four).

CAAS staff work with Somerville residents from many countries, making programs available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and other languages. CAAS office and program sites are wheelchair-accessible, and CAAS strives to make all of its programs and services welcoming to people with disabilities. From October 2009 through September 2010, the people CAAS served were:

  • 45% male and 55% female
  • 46% adults ages 18-54, 32% children under the age of 5, 17% children ages 6-17, and 4% seniors ages 55+
  • 37% White, 23% Black,7% Asian, 4% Multi-racial, and 29% other
  • 22% Latino or Hispanic
  • 13% people with disabilities

63% of the families CAAS served had some form of income and 35% earned wages by working. 37% of families reported no income and survived on the benefits that CAAS helped them obtain. CAAS enabled over 300 residents of Somerville and surrounding communities to apply for food stamps and emergency assistance at CAAS instead of traveling to DTA offices in Revere, which is one hour away by public transit.

8% of the families CAAS served owned their own homes. 64% rented an apartment. 22% were homeless at the time they came to CAAS for help. CAAS prevented homelessness by providing legal assistance to 345 families who had received an eviction notice.


What We've Achieved

In the past year...

  • CAAS served nearly 1,000 low-income families including over 3,000 men, women, and children.
  • Provided comprehensive early education and care, as well as medical and developmental screening to 364 children from low-income families in Somerville and Cambridge. 

  • Helped 170 households to apply for SNAP (food stamps) and 78 to apply for fuel assistance.

  • Provided emergency legal assistance to 154 households at risk of eviction, securing funds to help 39 households pay rent or security deposits, and helping 148 resolve other landlord-tenant disputes.
  • Worked in partnership with more than 120 community organizations and government agencies to serve the people of Somerville and Cambridge. 



In the past year, CAAS has worked with many, many agencies to serve the low-income community. We are happy to acknowledge the agencies with which CAAS has collaborated closely.