About Community Action
Community Action Agencies work to alleviate poverty and empower low-income families in their communities. For over 55 years, CAAs have provided the tools to help people move from poverty to self-sufficiency and they have done so at the local level ensuring the solutions work for local needs.
The Community Action Agency Network is made up of more than 1,000 local, private, non-profit and public agencies, created through the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. CAAs provide services to more than 15 million low-income people, including 4 million children, annually in 99 percent of the nation’s counties.
Ohio’s Community Action Agencies serve all 88 counties across the state. Each assess local community needs to create local community solutions. There is no “typical” CAA because each is governed by the leadership and specific needs of its local community. But despite this fact, Community Action Agencies as a network approach fighting the causes of poverty and may do so in familiar ways such as by tacking workforce and economic development needs, improving education opportunities for children and adults, or coordinating emergency services.
Local agencies serve low-income children, families, and seniors and do so with a holistic approach to address the entire family and situation rather than prescirbing a one-size-fits-all approach. CAAs provide linkages to job training opportunities, GED preparation courses, and vocational education programs. They provide a range of services addressing poverty-related problems from income management and credit counseling to entrepreneurial development and small business incubators; from domestic violence crisis assistance to family development programs and parenting classes; from food pantries and emergency shelters to low-income housing development and community revitalization projects. Community Action helps people and changes lives by creating realistic pathways to success.
The common goal is to enable people to become independent of any public or charitable assistance and reach their fullest potential. Some methods for achieving our mission include: