Community Action Agency

Community Action Plan 

View the Community Action Plan via Google Docs

To sign up to receive updates on changes, edits, and additions to the 2020-2021 DRAFT Community Action Plan, please email Manuel Rodriguez, Director of Community Action Partnerships, at

The goal of Community Action Agencies is the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals to become fully self-sufficient. This nationwide initiative, dating back to 1964 with the passing of the Economic Opportunity Act, allows Urban Services Y to provide assistance to any individual living in poverty in San Francisco City and County. 




Research Shows That Compared to Children From Middle to High-Income Families, Children Living in Poverty Are:

  • 4 times more likely to have poor health as children and young adults 
  • Already a year behind in math & reading comprehension on the very first day of school 
  • Less likely to be working by age 30 
  • More than 2 times as likely to have experienced 3 traumatic events or more 
  • More likely to live in communities experiencing high rates of violence. Exposure to community violence is correlated with lower high school grades & depression 

In San Francisco:

  • 1 in 7 children live in poverty
  • Residents in public housing communities average an annual income of $16,000 a year, which is 300% below the federal poverty line
  • Healthy food access is not available in low-income communities
  • Over 7,500 people are homeless
  • The violent crime rate is 108% higher than the national average


Innovative and Holistic Programs​​

Family Resource Centers in the OMI, Potrero Hill and Western Addition communities that deliver activities focused on healthy child development, parent support, basic needs assistance, food
distribution, family advocacy, mental health counseling, community events, and more.

Youth Service Bureaus in San Francisco & San Mateo Counties that provide clinic and school-based mental health services, youth peer support groups, a Community Resource Center in South San Francisco, and therapy to over 60 Bay Area schools.

A citywide Truancy Assessment and Resource Center to reengage students with school, reduce truancy and improve graduation rates.

Community Health Advocates and Peer Education Leaders programs that address health and education disparities in four mixed-income housing communities in San Francisco through resident leadership development, linkage to services, and resources and advocacy efforts.

Service Connection and Empowerment to Employment programs that remove barriers to economic self-sufficiency and create viable pathways for employment for adults and transitional aged youth. 

Youth Empowerment Fund program that employs a group of youth “Community Funders” to solicit grant applications, review and make funding decisions and administer grants to youth-led projects proposed by San Francisco youth.

School-Based Beacon Centers providing youth and family enrichment programs as well as parenting support, case management, job development, family events, Transitional Aged Youth programming, and more.

Afterschool Enrichment on five K-12 San Francisco public school campuses offering recreation, STEAM curriculum, nutrition classes, leadership opportunities, and much more for young students.

A nationally recognized Reach and Rise Mentoring Program that serves youth across 30 U.S. States.


Recent Accomplishments

  • Staff attended the National Community Action Partnership conference in Chicago from 8/26-8/30 and participated in multiple workshops, keynote speeches, and networking opportunities with leaders from throughout the country.
  • Completed Community Action Board retreat at the Embarcadero YMCA on 9/4 to help build our board community and educate them on Urban Services YMCA and the Community Action work.
  • Passed site monitoring audit with the Community Services Division (CSD) on 9/10 and 9/11 with positive reviews and no corrective actions or observations.
  • Staff attended Community Action Region IX conference in Hawaii from 9/19 - 9/21 and discussed multi-state coordination with California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and America Samoa for both technical support and national platform statements around immigration.
  • Expansion of Service Connector programming the Western Addition
  • Attached highlight in on the Chinatown YMCA's SRO family support programming.


2018 Successes

  • Prevented over 100 families from being evicted from their homes and preserved their housing.
  • Helped over 300 people connect to employment and or job skills training programs.
  • Reduced chronic absenteeism rates by 30% in one year at two local schools.
  • Provided critical mental health services to over a thousand youth in San Francisco and San Mateo County.