The Annual Report is GECAC’s comprehensive report to the Erie community regarding services and results for the previous fiscal year. Every year GECAC hosts an annual dinner at which the annual report is released.

It is necessary to determine where you are to be able to accurately plan for the future. The planning department of Greater Erie Community Action Committee (GECAC) assesses the needs and strengths of the Erie County PA community through a comprehensive approach called the Needs Assessment. This includes data from the U.S. Census Bureau; the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE); the Erie County Department of Human Services; other federal, state and local/governmental sources; local faith‐based and community‐based organizations; and the participants in GECAC programs. Internet statistical retrieval and GIS analysis also are used to gather the best available demographics on the families and individuals who are in need of supportive services in Erie County. In this report, the source of any data presented is listed,along with an Internet address (when available), so that readers can verify statistics and get the most up‐to‐date information.

During the last three years, GECAC staff facilitated over two dozen Poverty Simulations throughout northwest Pennsylvania. The poverty simulation, developed by the Missouri Association for Community Action, is designed to help participants, from the broader community, begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month. In the simulation, 44 to 80 participants assume the roles of up to 26 different families facing poverty. After the simulation, the participants are debriefed regarding their experience and are provided with next steps on how they may address the issues of poverty in our community. To date, nearly 1,500 individuals from the education, business, government, criminal justice, social service and health care sectors have been trained through these events.