ABCD's mission is to empower disadvantaged people by providing them with the tools to overcome poverty, live with dignity, and achieve their full potential.
To fulfill this mission, ABCD uses a comprehensive approach that systematically addresses the range of barriers faced by households in poverty - from day-to-day crises to long-term needs for jobs and education.
ABCD IS A NON-PROFIT HUMAN SERVICES ORGANIZATION that provides low-income residents in the Greater Boston region with the tools and resources needed to transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of public officials, representatives from the private sector and low-income community members who are democratically selected by a local ABCD Advisory Board of their peers to represent ABCD community sites.
A PREDECESSOR TO THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 1964 – the War on Poverty – ABCD was established in 1962 as part of a Ford Foundation demonstration project. Subsequently, ABCD was federally designated the anti-poverty community action agency for Boston under the Economic Opportunity Act. Such community action agencies provide services, assistance and other activities “of sufficient scope and size to help improve human performance, motivation and productivity or better the conditions under which people live, learn and work.” In 2015, ABCD’s designated service area was extended to include Everett, Malden and Medford, as well as Boston.
OPERATING THROUGH NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY SERVICE CENTERS throughout Greater Boston, ABCD can rapidly respond to changing community needs. Each year, more than 100,000 adults, elders, children, and families participate in these customized and innovative local projects, as well as in some of the organization’s long-standing support programs — housing and homeless prevention services, fuel assistance, adult basic education and job training, early education and care, and more.
The structure of the ABCD service delivery system provides capacity for:
- Flexible response to local needs through development of specialized and innovative neighborhood service programs
- Easy access to culturally competent local sites, along with customer connection to large citywide programs
- Constant flow of information on community needs to program planners and evaluators