Urban Strategies Council is pleased to announce that the Alameda County Community Asset Network (AC CAN) and Alameda County Social Services Agency were awarded the Platforms for Prosperity Prize on September 18 at the 2014 CFED Assets Learning Conference in Washington, DC.  AC CAN is a collaborative co-founded and staffed by Urban Strategies Council which includes community based organizations, government agencies and individuals.

This award (Sponsored by the MetLife Foundation) represents national recognition of the strong and productive partnership forged between AC CAN and the Alameda County Social Services Agency (SSA), who are collaborating to expand asset building programs for SSA’s low- and moderate-income clients. Appropriately, Lorena Briseño, SSA’s Asset Building Coordinator, and Stephen Watkins, Income & Asset Development Associate for Urban Strategies Council, accepted the award together on behalf of AC CAN and Alameda County Social Services.

CFED created the Platforms for Prosperity contest to uplift “institutional structures and systems that can enable us to reach a larger scale with asset-building services.” The contest celebrates community-based organizations’ outstanding achievements in asset-building practice, policy or research. Platforms for Prosperity promotes best practices and collaborative work among a diverse array of organizations across these platforms that are working to promote asset building and financial security.



CFED undertook a competitive process of nomination and vetting across five asset building categories: “Where We Bank;” “Where We Get Comprehensive Services;” “Where We Live;” “Where We Start Businesses;” and “Where We Work.” By the end of this process, CFED had selected AC CAN and ACSSA as the best exemplar in the “Where We Get Comprehensive Services” platform. This category includes integrated asset building and direct service delivery that builds appropriate levels of financial capability across a range of social service providers.

At the awards ceremony, CFED acknowledged that SSA currently serves one out of every six Alameda County residents, demonstrating the extent of the network’s potential impact. CFED also noted that the development and deployment of the Savvy Consumer Curriculum show that AC CAN’s vision extends beyond the downstream effects of poverty and families in crisis. Instead, AC CAN invests in families and neighborhoods proactively to lift up communities in need.

With this award from CFED which includes a $10,000 prize, AC CAN remains committed to crafting integrated program and policy strategies that support the development of financial assets, positive family relationships, personal and community health and the connections that individuals and families have to each other.