Our History and Impact
In 1932, Philadelphians Charles Edwin Fox, District Attorney of Philadelphia and one of the founders of the Big Brother (Big Sister) Association of Philadelphia, and philanthropist Samuel S. Fels, brought together leaders in business, social welfare, judges, and lawyers and formed the Crime Prevention Association (CPA). The goal was to create opportunities to assist youth through educational, vocational, social, and recreational programs. The initiative's target was youth affected by the Great Depression to find jobs and increase their future opportunities and positive alternatives. CPA was granted a charter for the first Philadelphia chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in 1937.
CPA established numerous clubs throughout Philadelphia where its young members participated in athletic and artistic activities and received counseling. Clubs were located in unused school buildings, church facilities, or donated properties. Over time, CPA's Board of Directors and its management and employees realized that supporting at-risk youth also meant supporting their families and communities. This philosophy led to the development of family-focused community centers, first in South Philadelphia and North Central and West Philadelphia. To offer more specialized services, CPA expanded to other sites, including public schools, where CPA continued to meet various specific needs.
In 2001, we changed our name to Caring People Alliance to reflect the current scope of our programs and services more accurately. The mission of Caring People Alliance is "To reduce poverty and injustice by providing high quality services that nurture positive child and youth development, stable families across the life cycle, and thriving communities."
Today, CPA is one of Philadelphia's most innovative community-based human services organizations, serving about 30,000 children, along with their families and older adults annually at offices and facilities throughout the region. In 2020, Caring People Alliance provided 115,000 meals to children and seniors. With 300 employees, we provide services ranging from daycare, Boys & Girls Clubs programs, older-adult programs, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Early Learning Resource Center.