Community Action Partners
As part of the War on Poverty, President Johnson established the Community Action Program in 1964. This Community Action Program established Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in communities throughout the United States in order to coordinate poverty relief programs. Popular programs administered by CAAs include Head Start, Weatherization and Meals on Wheels. Since its foundation, the Community Action Approach emphasizes local priorities and maximum feasible participation—a requirement that individuals from communities-served be represented in the decision-making body of the agency. In short, the Community Action Approach empowers struggling individuals through including them in the community’s problem-solving process and ensures a collaboration of all the community’s stakeholders in determining the community’s priorities and actions. CAAs serve 99 percent of counties in the United States.
The National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) was founded in 1981 with the purpose of representing CAAs and their state and regional associations in Washington, D.C. Current Executive Director David Bradley, with the mentorship of Sargent Shriver, co-founded the organization in an effort to ensure that the federal government continued to support the Community Action Program.
NASCSP keeps its members, the federal government, and other interested parties informed about issues related to CSBG and DOE/WAP through its publications and training.
CSBG: The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), administered by the states, provides core funding to local agencies to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities and empower low-income families to become self-sufficient.
Weatherization: The U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) reduces heating and cooling costs for low-income families, particularly for the elderly, people with disabilities, and children, by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.
Mission: Building capacity in states to respond to poverty issues. The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) is the premier national association charged with advocating and enhancing the leadership role of states in preventing and reducing poverty. NASCSP's vision encompasses the empowerment of low-income families to reach self-sufficiency in its broadest context, through helping states attain full utilization of their resources and implement an extensive array of services to these families, including weatherization, energy assistance, child care, nutrition, employment, state energy programs, job training, and housing in urban, suburban and rural communities.
Community Action Program Legal Services (CAPLAW) is a non-profit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) membership corporation. It is managed by a Board of Directors composed of current and former CAA executive directors from across the country. Its staff is based in Boston, with a coordinator in Washington, D.C.
Office of Community Services
The Office of Community Services (OCS) partners with states, communities and agencies to eliminate causes of poverty, increase self-sufficiency of individuals and families and revitalize communities. To learn more bout OCS, please check out their website.