- CEO, Community Assistance Center (CAC)
- Horizons Enrichment Program
- Holy Innocents Episcopal Church/School
- Sandy Springs Education Force
- Leadership Sandy Springs
- Second Helpings Atlanta
- Sandy Springs Rotary
- The Better Angels of Our Nature- Steven Pinker
- Born a Crime-Trevor Noah
- Mas alla del invierno- Isabel Allende
- America’s Original Sin- Jim Wallis
- Just Mercy- Bryan Stevenson
- Mahatma Gandhi
What most people don’t know about you?
- I am pretty transparent… no real secrets
Tamara Carrera is the CEO of Community Assistance Center (CAC), the primary emergency assistance agency serving the cities of Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, Georgia. Since 1987, CAC has played a vital role in preventing hunger and homelessness, providing assistance for basic needs such as utilities, food and clothing, and actively engaging clients to work towards greater self-sufficiency. The need for human services in the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody communities is real, as increasing numbers of families struggle to make ends meet. CAC is a cornerstone of the human services network in the northern Perimeter area. Since 1987, CAC has helped more than 19,000 households cope with financial hardship.
Prevention is the single most effective intervention for homelessness and hunger. Every month, as many as 80 families will avoid eviction thanks to the work of CAC. That is more than two per day! Each eviction prevented brings hope and the opportunity to regain stability for the family and contributes to a stronger and more stable community through gains in individual productivity. Hunger is a daily struggle for many families and impacts the ability of adults to function effectively in the workplace and their children’s performance at school. Eighty percent of the individuals coming to CAC for the first time state they skip at least one meal a day and routinely do not have enough food to feed their families. CAC feeds between 50 and 80 families each day. Of the 5,600 individuals that CAC touches annually, 42 percent are children aged newborn to 19 years. For anyone facing a crisis, knowing where to find help is often the biggest hurdle. CAC understands the unique challenges faced by lower-income families and is the first point of contact for Sandy Springs and Dunwoody residents in need. CAC provides resources and referrals to solve their problems and helps to stabilize the family while charting a course towards greater financial independence for their future.
Tamara began her involvement with CAC in 1992 as a volunteer and became its Executive Director in 1997. She received her BA from Manhattanville College and an MBA with a concentration in Non-profit Management from Boston University. For more than thirty years Tamara has been actively involved in managing non-profit organizations in the communities where she has lived, Boston, Long Island and Atlanta. Her experience includes community health programs and social service agencies. She has served as an evaluator of non-profit agencies and programs for funding agencies like United Way. Tamara is the recipient of the Leadership Sandy Springs Alumna Recognition Award (2004), Sandy Springs City Humanitarian Award, Harvard Business School Club of Atlanta Social Enterprise Inititiave Scholarship (2012), and Los Niños Primero Angel Award (2017).