Christian Community Action does wonderful work helping families in crisis, supporting them on the road to self sufficiency, and enabling them to become advocates for others in need.
I continue to be impressed by what Christian Comunity Action accomplishes with a staff worth significantly more that they are paid, and despite recent cuts in state support. Ninety percent of the families completing CCA's Stepping Stones transitional housing program move on to permanent housing, well on their way to self-sufficiency.
Christian Community Action is an excellent organization in providing food and shelter, along with counselling and guidance for those unfortumate souls, usually young families, who are poor in New Haven. I am a recently retired surgeon, and I got to know about CCA some 38 years agothrough my church and my medical practice where I and my partners took care of some of the people who were being, or had been helped through CCA. I came to know some of the directors, and have been greatly impressed by the dedication, commitment and hard work ethic of Bonita Grubbs, who has been the Executive Director for over 20 years. Some of the people who have been helped there and have put together their lives with CCA's help include a young man and his son (aged 4) who works now at Yale's Calhoun College Dining Room, where I am a Fellow. When I retired from my surgical practice three years ago, I have gotten also to know a number of the people who work at CCA. Some of them have come to work there after having been helped by the agency out of problems of homelessness, and indeed one out of destructive drug addiction to put together lives that are productive. CCA's Stepping Stone program (that is one of three apartment houses which are owned/managed by CCA for families who have lost their jobs, and subsequently become homeless) is able to offer these families a place, and also counsel ing, guidance, job training. And CCA has a 90% success rate in getting them back, employed and in their own homes. Right now in this economy there are waiting lists for all the apartments what we have. William B. McCullough, M. D.
I have been involved with Christian Community Action for more than 30 years. I started as a bilingual volunteer and then served on its Development Committee and then the Board. What I like most about CCA is that requires the families it helps to work hard to regain their economic independence. It basically says to these families, "If you want to improve your lives and are willing to work hard to do so, we are willing to do all we can to help." It also has evolved from an organization focused on immediate needs, such as food and shelter, to one that seeks to address the underlying causes of hunger, poverty and homelessness
Volunteered bagging food for Thanksgiving distribution for at least 15 years. This has expanded and been organized to become almost effortless the last few years. But still fun! This year, volunteer groups were able to switch off on tasks so the work continued... packing about 1200 bags of food in about 5 hours, and more on Sunday. I have also been a board member for ten years. CCA has continued to meet the needs of the area residents while maintaining its core mission. Over time this has expanded from emergency food and housing, to 2-year transitional housing, to advocacy training of transitional housing and neighborhood residents. All on a relatively small budget and staff.