Since 2005, Cary and his team have managed and operated numerous school district nonprofit foundations, raising funds and distributing grants and scholarships.
Dollars are tight for schools. They don’t often have the extra funds to do all the great projects they would like. Cary and his team work with principals and the community to find solutions, including developing a grant for teachers to fund innovative projects. The funding for all of the grants and scholarships come from the private sector funding; no government funding is used.
Fresno City Planning Commission
During Cary’s tenure on the commission, the City of Fresno adopted a new 2035 General Plan and subsequent Development Code, which guides how the city will grow and invest in neighborhoods over the next 20 years.
Mayor’s General Plan Review Committee
Mayor Lee Brand appointed Cary to lead a team of 20 community and business leaders in reviewing the approved General Plan to determine if updates were needed. The 10-month process ended with 66 recommended modifications based on current market trends. The committee recommended and the city council unanimously approved the first course of action to complete an impact analysis, which will determine if new growth pays for itself. Additionally, the study will also evaluate the feasibility of the 66 recommendations.
Cary has worked with Habitat for Humanity since 2004. Together, they’ve raised nearly $25 million to build 125+ new homes and repaired almost 40 in the Fresno-Madera area. The impact has allowed working families to achieve affordable homeownership while revitalizing neighborhoods that have not seen significant investments in decades.
Additionally, Cary led the fundraising charge for Fresno First Steps Home, an independent nonprofit strategically developed to raise private dollars to help nonprofits implement the housing-first model, raising nearly $1.8 million over a decade to help nonprofits with gap program funding and required match-grant funding.
During the pandemic, Cary worked with the leadership team at a local nonprofit serving those experiencing homelessness. Together, they raised the necessary private sector funds to replace 30 storage sheds — which the City of Fresno erected almost 20 years ago — with more suitable structures. Before installing the new shelters, the team needed to first work with the City of Fresno to update the building code.
The newly installed shelters provide beds for approximately 120 individuals. This work garnered attention from a national foundation, which provided a $2.5 million grant, the largest private-sector donation in the organization’s history. This grant will go towards opening a shelter where families can stay while caseworkers identify longer-term solutions.
Cary and the leadership team raised funding to hire case managers who work with individuals to identify the core catalysts that led to their homelessness and work with them to find a permanent long-term solution.
AREA OF FOCUS:
Housing & Homelessness
Homelessness impacts all areas of life jobs, safety, parks, and more. One of my biggest passions is making sure those living on the streets have a clean pillowcase and warm bed to sleep in every night. We need a compassionate way to fiscally-respond to homelessness.
Homelessness is a challenging issue. Collaboration is required; it can’t just be the government. All different kinds of ideas are needed. I have long-established relationships with leaders throughout our community, which allows me to bring together bipartisan connections for collaboration. My job is to find the common ground that unite us.
Over the last decade, we made early gains on housing people. Still, there was no strategy to add capacity or adequately deal with mental health and addiction issues long-term. We’re looking at a broader approach, and, at the same time, we’re looking for permanent funding streams. Local government needs to realign dollars to meet the need. We’re not there yet. We still have a lot of work to do.
I believe that a family’s pathway out of poverty is with access to a decent, affordable place to live with a path to homeownership and economic prosperity.