About Community Action

Community Action Agencies work to alleviate poverty and empower low-income families in their communities. For 50 years, CAAs have provided the tools to help people move from poverty to self-sufficiency.The Community Action Agency Network is made up of more than 1,100 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 annually in 99 percent of the nation’s counties. Among them are 4 million children.

There is no “typical” CAA. No two CAAs are exactly alike because each is governed by the leadership and specific needs of its local community. But despite this fact, there is a typical CAA approach to fighting the causes of poverty. Local agencies approach these goals by offering a variety of programs that serve low-income children, families and seniors. They coordinate emergency assistance, provide weatherization services, sponsor youth programs, operate senior centers and provide transportation in rural areas. 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.

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:


Providing emergency services

Adequate education

Securing & maintaining employment

Income management

Improving nutrition

Securing adequate housing