As mobilizers of resources for the poor at the local level, Community Action Agencies (CAAs) serve millions of Americans whose income is below the poverty level and who do not receive welfare benefits – the working poor. Most CAAs promote self-sufficiency, provide help with setting a household budget, weatherization assistance and help with rental, nutrition, emergency assistance, and help with education and housing. CAAs also administer almost half the nation’s Head Start programs.
The CAAs are rooted in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, a measure that recognized help was needed and that the poor should have a say in how resources should be allocated to address their needs. In CCAs, at least one-third of the board of directors must represente the poor, a third are public officials or their representatives, and the rest are community-based members representing business, clergy, labor, education and other stakeholders.
Community Action lives on under the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG) administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Click a county on the map to find out more about the county's CAA. In addition, the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs serves as a limited purpose agency.