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Step Forward Proud Part of Reimagined Network

Step Forward leverages relationships across our community, state and nation to serve those in need with dignity and compassion to help them prosper in their daily lives.

Step Forward has been a proud member of the Ohio Urban Resources System, which has now become the Ohio Urban Community Action Network (OUCAN). After 40 years of serving poverty fighting organizations like Step Forward, the new brand and vision will allow OUCAN to connect and advocate for Ohio’s urban Community Action Agencies.

“Membership in OUCAN provides Step Forward with tremendous training and advocacy support allow us to further alleviate poverty and promote self-sufficiency in Cuyahoga County,” said Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm, President and CEO of Step Forward.

OUCAN members have worked to assist families with immediate emergency needs this year and with the longer-term task of putting lives and households back together in the coming years. Amid the unceasing pandemic, housing crisis and a deepening division in economic gains for underserved households, OUCAN agencies continue to connect with communities to create and implement solutions.

During the pandemic, OUCAN members saved more than 40,000 homes by administering relief programs. These locally-based agencies have been part of the communities they serve for decades and continue to find unique ways to make a difference every day.

In the long-term, OUCAN is committed to creating affordable and safe housing options, access to quality early childhood education, and economic security through career exploration and coaching.

“We are excited to be part of this vibrant network as we continue our commitment to fighting poverty in our community,” Dr. Chisholm said.


OUCAN (Ohio Urban Community Action Network) includes nine Community Action Agencies in Ohio’s most populous communities. OUCAN’s is recognized as a leading resource in breaking the cycle of poverty in urban Ohio, ensuring residents are treated with dignity and have the resources to prosper. OUCAN’s mission is to empower Ohio’s urban Community Action Agencies through education, networking and advocating for policies that alleviate poverty and promote self-sufficiency.

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