Our Mission

Our mission is to promote opportunities for low-income individuals, families, and communities to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency through advocacy, partnerships, access to services, and low-to-moderate income housing development.

“Community action is in our name.”

The debate around poverty is shifting. Instead of serving the poor, organizations are positioning themselves as problem solvers or solution providers. This is all great, because we need everyone to come on board and actively build equity in the communities across Western New York.

We have been working for five decades with the clear mission of encouraging and providing tools for people to help themselves; through economic empowerment, social engagement, community health initiatives, workforce development and education.

There is evidence in our numbers and the data is telling the story of us making a difference, but we still have more work to do.

Many families are still struggling to make their ends meet but we are on the frontlines every day to mitigate the effects of poverty on low-income communities throughout Western New York. This cannot be done alone but as the experts on poverty in the region, we will continue to lead the charge and provide solutions that empower our clients to become more self-reliant and overcome the crippling cycle of poverty.

"I am a single mother and my daughter has been a part of CAO programs like Head Start, NURTURE and the Sports P.L.U.S. program since age 3. I would like to thank the people at CAO for giving their time to not only my daughter, but helping me finish my graduate degree and become debt free after losing my job."

Sheritta Ward

"I am a very proud parent of a child who has been in a CAO Head Start Academy for the last two years. Next year, he will be going to Global Concepts Charter School because of the patient, kind hearted, professional and intelligent teachers at CAO that always go above and beyond what they need to."

Kelly Kreuder

"I would like to thank CAO for allowing me to pursue my education as an Education Task Force recipient. Coming from a single parent household wasn't the easiest but I pushed through and I am glad to say that I will be continuing my education to receive my Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Change."

John Roberts