Community Assistance Network, Inc. (CAN)
As Baltimore County’s designated anti-poverty agency, established in 1965, Community Assistance Network, Inc. (CAN) serves as a lifeline for low-income residents in need.
CAN’s mission is to work in partnership with the community to develop, operate, and support programs that reduce vulnerability and promote personal growth, stability, and self-sufficiency among low-income residents.
CAN has remained open as an essential service provider throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff has steadfastly met the rising needs by expanding our efforts to provide programs and services under three critical areas of focus: housing, food, and economic security.
Operating two of Baltimore County’s largest homeless shelters, as well as transitional and permanent housing programs, we are proud that our housing counselors successfully assist more than 75 percent of our shelter guests in finding independent housing solutions (even during the pandemic). Before the pandemic, we helped 150- 200 individuals and families annually avoid eviction and stay housed.
CAN’s Food Pantry is the largest provider of food in Baltimore County when compared to nearly 200 other county partners of the Maryland Food Bank.
We also run an after-school and summer program for students from low-income families, and partner with the Baltimore County Department of Aging to deliver food to homebound seniors.
With a motto of “Helping People, Changing Lives,” CAN relies on various online appeals to individuals for funds needed to purchase food to stock our food pantry (beyond in-kind donations), to help individuals and families avoid eviction, and to provide assistance for those formerly homeless shelter guests we have helped move into independent housing.
There are many ways to get involved to support CAN’s efforts, including hosting a food drive for essential items to stock our food pantry, following us on social media to share our updates with the community, and donating funds to help us meet the rising needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More direct volunteer activities will be available again post COVID-19. Our link for donations is canconnects.org/donate