About CAAs
Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are nonprofit private and public organizations established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America's War on Poverty. Community Action Agencies help people to help themselves in achieving self-sufficiency. Today there are approximately 1000 Community Action Agencies, serving the poor in every state as well as Puerto Rico and the Trust Territories.

 The CAA Network

Community Action Agencies Across America

The service areas of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) cover 96 percent of the nation's counties. Our agencies are connected by a national network that includes the Community Action Partnership national association, regional associations, state associations, a national lobbying organization, and a national association of Community Service Block Grant administrators.

CAAs are a primary source of direct support for the more than 34.5 million people who live in poverty in the United States. The majority of CAA program participants are extremely poor, with incomes below 75 percent of the federal poverty threshold, or $9,735 for a family of three (the average family size for the client population).

The Community Action network serves more than:

  • 16.2 million individuals per year
  • 3 million families per year

CAAs serve all regions and populations:

  • 54% of CAAs serve rural areas.
  • 36% of CAAs serve areas considered both urban and rural.
  • 10% of CAAs serve urban areas.
The average population a CAA serves is approximately 300,000 people. The average number of low-income people within each service area is 37,600.

Board, Staff, and Volunteers

CAA boards of directors have a unique composition of:
  • at least one-third members from the low-income community
  • exactly one-third public officials
  • up to one-third members from the private sector
  • The average size of a CAA board is: 25 people
  • The typical size of agency staff is: 115 full-time equivalent workers.
  • On average each CAA has: 813 people volunteering at the agency each year.

What CAAs Do

Because each CAA is governed locally, each provides a different mix of programs and services. The following represent the percentages of Community Action Agencies that deliver these services:

Community Coordination - 94%       
Citizen participation, neighborhood and community organization, information and referrals

Emergency Services - 91%
Food Pantries, energy assistance homeless shelters, domestic violence

Education - 89%
Head Start, youth mentoring ,literacy, Adult Basic Education

Food and Nutrition - 84%             
Meals on Wheels, congregate feeding, food banks

Family Development - 68%           
Day care, case management, counseling, supportEmployment

Training/Employment  - 63%  
Job readiness, job training, and job creation

Income Management - 53%  

Budget CounselingTransportation - 49%                  
Rural transportation systems, on-demand transportation

Housing - 46%                   
Self-help housing, homeownership, rental assistance, Weatherization

Economic Development - 39%             
Business planning and loans, water and sewer

Health Care - 29%                      
Health Clinics, WIC, prescription assistance 

The Promise of Community Action

Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

Community Action Partnership
1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1210
Washington, DC 20036
phone 202.265.7546
fax 202.265.5048