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CAAS is ending poverty where we live. The mission of the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) is to reduce poverty among local families and indiviiduals while working to counteract, and whenever possible eliminate, the societal conditions that cause and perpetuate poverty.
CAAS currently offers free services in two program areas, Advocacy and Head Start. The Advocacy Program addresses tenants' rights, racial discrimination and harassment, newcomer issues, welfare policy questions, affordable housing issues, and the needs of at-risk immigrant youth. Special focuses of the Advocacy Program are:
- Eviction Prevention Project--works in conjunction with Somerville District Court and legal assistance projects to prevent evictions of low-income tenants.
- Housing and Benefits Advocacy--helps low-income residents obtain subsidies and benefits for which they are eligible, to stabilize their current living situation and assist them to strive for economic self-sufficiency.
- Jovenes Latinos (Latino Youth)--develops the leadership abilities of Latino adolescents. Currently, Jovenes Latinos is working in collaboration with Tufts University and other community organizations to inform immigrant workers about occupational health and safety.
- Tenant Organizing--aids tenants in private housing at risk of foreclosure and supports tenants in public housing in speaking up for their interests.
- College Access--organizes College Goal Sunday to help families of graduating seniors gain professional assistance in applying for college financial aid.
- Family Service Center--offers substance abuse prevention and education, pre-employment services, and a computer center for Head Start families.
- Fathers Are Critical Educators Impacting Tomorrow (FACE IT)--works with the male parents of Head Start children to support them in their roles as fathers.