The “Community Action Program” (CAP) was established over thirty-five years ago by Congress as a centerpiece of the War on Poverty. The goal of the program, which is now part of the Community Services Block Grant, is to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower low-income individuals and families to become fully self-sufficient. The program is carried out by a national network of over 1,300 designated Community Action Agencies (CAAs), which provide a diverse array of services to and advocacy on behalf of low-income individuals and families.
“We must open the doors of opportunity.
But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors”
– PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON
Community Action, administered under Community Services Block Grant program, is run by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees a broad range of federal programs that address the needs of children and families. To ease the burden of oversight and administration, ACF created 9 regions. California along with Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada and the trust territories of American Samoa, Guam, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, make up our region – Region IX.
REGION IX COMMUNITY ACTION ASSOCIATION
As the membership organization for Region IX, the purposes of the Association are to provide opportunities for Region IX directors and staff to come together and share information, ideas, and mutual concerns; support the efforts of the Community Action Partnership (CAP), the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF), and other organizations that encourage the development of resources which demonstrate progress toward the elimination of poverty; and promote professional growth and competence of Region IX member agencies and associations through training and support.
REGION IX REGIONAL PERFORMANCE AND INNOVATION CONSORTIUM (RPIC)
Through cooperative agreements with the Office of Community Services (OCS), a division of the ACF, the purpose of Regional Performance and Innovation Consortia (RPIC) is to support ongoing state, regional, and national training and technical assistance (T/TA) strategies for collaboration, capacity-building, and exemplary practice in the CSBG program and among state Community Action agency associations. Each RPIC coordinates regional T/TA activities among state associations with the mission of ensuring that all CSBG-eligible entities are able to meet high-quality performance standards and utilize evidence-informed service approaches to address the identified needs of low-income people.
The Region IX RPIC is represented by the core values of Leveraging, Innovation, Networking, Knowledge and Sustainability, signified by the acronym LINKS, which serve as the foundation for all of regional T/TA activities and have been incorporated into the brand by which the RPIC identifies: RPIC LINKS.
PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Because each Community Action Agencies is governed locally, each provides a different mix of programs and services. The following list represents services delivered by Community Action Agencies:
Asset Development: Individual Development Accounts (IDA), budget counseling
Community Coordination: citizen engagement, community assessment, information and referrals
Economic Development: business planning and loans, entrepreneurship, water and sewer
Education: Head Start, youth mentoring, literacy, adult basic education
Emergency Services: food pantries, energy assistance homeless shelters, domestic violence
Family Development: day care, case management, counseling, support
Food & Nutrition: Meals on Wheels, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, congregate feeding, food banks
Health Care: health clinics, Women, Infants & Children, prescription assistance
Housing: self-help housing, home ownership, rental assistance, weatherization
Training & Employment Services: job readiness, job training, and job creation
Transportation Assistance: rural transportation systems, on-demand transportation