Community Needs Assessment

CAC's Community Needs Assessment


CAC’s last community needs assessment was approved by the Board of Directors in 2020. This Comprehensive Community Needs Assessment (CNA) was conducted July through October 2023 by CAC staff and a contracted provider. The assessment design aligns with Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Organizational standards and is a resource to develop CAC’s updated three-year strategic plan. The purpose of this assessment was to ascertain critical needs in Howard County, Maryland as identified by community members, stakeholders, community partners, and service providers, enabling CAC to update and adapt programs and services to best meet community needs.

The completed assessment was also evaluated against the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) “Checklist for Monitoring Community Needs Assessments for State CSBG Offices” to ensure full compliance with authorizing bodies’ expectations.

The Planning and Program (P&P) Committee of the CAC Board convened on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, to review the first draft of this community needs assessment with a three-fold purpose:

  • Analysis of data contained in the full report.
  • Identification of the root causes and conditions of poverty in Howard County.
  • Discussion of services CAC should stop, start, or continue.

Identifying Howard County’s Top Five Priorities

The P&P Committee identified the following priorities in the Howard County community for CAC to address:

1. Affordable high quality early childhood education. Birth to five years old is a must to contribute to family asset building, financial management, and wage growth.

2. Food access and security.

3. Affordable housing.

4. Energy and utilities assistance.

5. Physical and mental health with an emphasis on resilience.

The Committee also noted the need to address financial management, credit recovery, and credit building with clients.

Click on the image below to view the Executive Summary.

Click on the image below to view the full CNA report.

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