Crispus Attucks Community Center
Strategic Plan 2008-2013 (Summary)
Crispus Attucks Community Center (CACC) began as a recreation center for African Americans in 1927 in Southeast Lancaster, PA. CACC has continued to serve that community through educational and cultural programs while embracing the changing population of the neighborhood to include services to a diverse population. Over its eighty-year history, the Center has been a hub of advocacy for the less fortunate, and the provider of programs and services to help thousands of people from all cultural backgrounds achieve self-sufficiency. CACC’s most enduring legacy is that of a community anchor, one that has the trust and support of the local community.
CACC has most recently operated cultural programs, a homeless shelter, and youth programming including a student intervention program, summer science camp and after-school skills and tutoring services. It is also known for its Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast which draws more than 500 people and national-level speakers each year, this annual celebration of the African-American community and its heritage is a much anticipated event. For more than 15 years, Crispus Attucks Emergency Homeless shelter has provided shelter, services, and meals for those in need. Each year, more than 300 families and individuals have been housed at the shelter.
CACC leadership is aware that numerous significant changes have occurred in their external operating environment including shifts in demographics of the region, the continuing poverty in the City of Lancaster, as well as increased economic growth and development, its growing reputation as an arts and tourism hub, and an increase in the troubled youth population. In response, CACC’s leadership determined that to more effectively serve the community the organization would need to broaden its mission. The Board sees opportunities to engage youth, especially via the arts and through educational programming, to expand cultural activities and to shift its emphasis in helping the underserved from an emergency response to a more comprehensive and preventative approach. To dedicate itself fully to this new mission, the Board has also concluded that it does not have the organizational resources to continue operating the homeless shelter while pursuing this new direction. This difficult decision was made after six months of study led by outside consultants and conducted by board, staff, and the consultants. CACC has developed a transition plan which will result in closure of the shelter both gradually and carefully, to ensure that clients are served in the best way possible.
The leadership of CACC used the strategic planning process to consider how best to serve its market and create greater opportunities for economically disadvantaged individuals and people of color in Lancaster. Moreover, the Board and staff used the strategic planning process to reexamine and revise its mission, create a new vision, and develop five strategic goals to guide the organization’s activities over the next five years.
II. Vision, Mission, Strategic Goals
The CACC Board of Directors approved the following vision, mission, and goals on June 26, 2008.
Crispus Attucks Community Center will foster a vibrant, diverse and prosperous community, rich with cultural heritage and educational opportunities.
Crispus Attucks Community Center strives to improve the quality of life for youth and families in Lancaster by providing services that promote community prosperity, physical and mental health; and by offering programs and cultural events which preserve the African American heritage.
III. Strategic Goals, 2008 to 2013
Serving Youth and Families: Crispus Attucks Community Center will create a comprehensive approach to its youth programs by expanding its focus to include programs that improve high school graduation rates and increase the rate of participation in higher education. Our programs will also promote wellness, parenting skills, and the reduction of teen pregnancy, drug use, and gang violence.
Cultural Center: Crispus Attucks Community Center will expand its cultural activities by creating a cultural center that hosts African-American art programming, serves as a forum for social, political, and economic justice, develops local talent, and provides a setting for multi-cultural collaborations.
Community Prosperity: Crispus Attucks Community Center will promote community prosperity by providing programs that promote financial literacy, increase the homeownership rate and support better employment and career opportunities for the members of our community.
Organizational Strength: Crispus Attucks will strengthen its organization to better serve the community by developing its financial soundness, staff and Board, and systems:
Crispus Attucks Community Center will become financially sound by establishing a six month operating reserve, establishing a building and maintenance fund, and diversifying its income base.
Crispus Attucks Community Center will attract and retain appropriate staff and leadership by recruiting qualified staff with proper skills and experience, and board members with program area expertise or who are representative of constituencies the organization serves.
Crispus Attucks will put appropriate policies and procedures into writing to promote clarity, safety, and direction for staff and constituents. The organization will also create and use feedback systems that will provide accurate information on the financial and programmatic impact of the organization’s programs.
Marketing: Crispus Attucks will develop and implement a refreshed branding and marketing strategy to broaden awareness of its programs and services and create more organizational transparency among diverse audiences.