WHAT IS COMMUNITY ACTION?

Community Action Agencies are nonprofit or public organizations that were created by the federal government in 1964 to combat poverty in geographically designated areas.  Status as a Community Action Agency is the result of an explicit designation by local or state government.  A Community Action Agency has a tripartite board structure that is designed to promote the participation of the entire community in the reduction or elimination of poverty.  Community Action Agencies seek to involve the community, including elected public officials, private sector representatives, and especially low-income residents in assessing local needs and attacking the causes and conditions of poverty.
 
WHY COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCIES ARE UNIQUE 

Most poverty-related organizations focus on a specific area of need, such as job training, health care, housing, or economic development.  Community Action Agencies reach out to low-income people in their communities, address their multiple needs through a comprehensive approach, develop partnerships with other community organizations, involve low-income clients in the agency's operations, and administer a full range of coordinated programs designed to have a measurable impact on poverty.