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CAN's Theory of Change

Mission Statement:

CAN partners with children, youth, and families from under-resourced Washtenaw County neighborhoods to create better futures for themselves and improve the communities in which they live.


View and download CAN's Theory of Change


Community members take an active role and responsibility in all of CAN's activities. Their continued engagement is crucial to CAN's success.

"CAN has instilled in the residents their responsibility for their own neighborhood and their own community."

-Judge Simpson

"CAN got everybody working together."

-Michael, Hikone Resident



Low-income only describes one kind of resource: financial. Unfortunately, there are other resources to which families might also lack access:

  • Ability to navigate the educational system or advocate for their needs

  • A two-parent household or affordable childcare

  • Affordable health care

  • Healthy, affordable food

  • Marketable job skills and job search resources

  • Affordable housing

  • Reliable transportation

  • Appropriate accommodations for people who have disabilities


CAN partners with families in specific, defined communities. From Hikone to Arrowwood Hills, each community has its own culture and the residents have their own set of needs. By being physically located within these neighborhoods and school buildings, we are able to be accessible and responsive to our neighbors to ensure families receive support specific to their unique circumstances.

"We love that CAN is neighborhood-based. you can see it in the relationships that CAN builds and the community it impacts.


CAN is results-focused, but in a caring, personal way, thinking first of what struggling individuals and families need to build success, whatever that looks like."

-Dan & Kathy Brady, Donors

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A community is somewhere a person wants to be -- a safe space one takes pride in being a part of. Residents and CAN work together to create clean, safe communities where everyone feels connected and home.

CAN's Programs and Services

Click each pillar to learn more

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