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OUCAN - Breaking The Cycle of Poverty

Ohio Urban Community Action Network (OUCAN) is a leading resource in breaking the cycle of poverty in urban Ohio. OUCAN member agencies ensure residents are treated with dignity, and that they have the resources to prosper in their everyday lives.

Formerly OURS, the mission of OUCAN is to empower Ohio’s urban Community Action Agencies through education and networking and by advocating for policies that alleviate poverty and promote self-sufficiency.

OUCAN’s statewide network represents 56 percent of the state's total population and 62 percent of those households which are living at or below the Federal Poverty Level. OUCAN members seek to reduce the number of households living in poverty so that no family experiences food insecurity or housing challenges and all are able earn a livable wage.

In the early 1980s, Community Action Agencies in Ohio’s urban centers – more than any other state in the country - realized networking to address issues collectively would be necessary. OURS (now OUCAN) was incorporated in 1985 to represent the needs and interests of Ohio’s urban poor families and residents.

Today OUCAN strengthens the social and economic security of families and their communities, under the leadership of its first CEO, Yvonne Cherell. Yvonne is a respected advocate of social justice, equity and fairness in the state of Ohio who brings a wealth of expertise in leadership, sustainability, greater public policy visibility and leadership.

With this strong history and dynamic leadership, OUCAN will be the voice to end poverty for Ohio's children and families.

For more information on how you can support this organization visit

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