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About The Association


History of Community Action

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (EOA) established over 1,000 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) at the local level to implement EOA programs. EOA programs included: VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America); Job Corps; Neighborhood Youth Corps; Head Start; Adult Basic Education; Family Planning; Community Health Centers; Congregate Meal Preparation; Economic Development; Foster Grandparents; Legal Services; Neighborhood Centers; Summer Youth Programs; Senior Centers; and others. CAAs vary widely, with some being nonprofit groups, others being city agencies, and some being community-controlled groups. Many CAAs vary greatly in how their agencies are organized and in the type of services they provide to their local communities. In fact, the number of CAAs has increased and it is now estimated that CAAs serve over 80 percent of all U.S. counties. Although CAAs were established over 40 years ago, they have a rich history of advocacy for and service to low-income people and remain important in domestic social policy to the present day.

About the Indiana Community Action Association

The Indiana Community Action Association, Inc. (IN-CAA) is a statewide not-for-profit membership corporation, incorporated in the State of Indiana in 1970. IN-CAA’s members or Network is comprised of Indiana’s 22 Community Action Agencies (CAAs), which serve all of Indiana’s 92 counties. IN-CAA envisions a state with limited or no poverty, where its residents have decent, safe, and sanitary living conditions, and where resources are available to help low income individuals attain self-sufficiency. IN-CAA serves as an advocate and facilitator of policy, planning and programs to create solutions and share responsibility as leaders in the war against poverty. Therefore, it is IN-CAA’s mission is to help the state’s Community Action Agencies address the conditions of poverty through: training and technical assistance; developing models for service delivery; and providing resources to help increase Network capacity. The functions of IN-CAA include dissemination of information throughout the Indiana Community Action Network, the delivery of services in areas where local operators have not been available, the development of training programs that are seen as viable, implementation of practices that are best delivered by a central agency, and other functions that are agreed upon by the Board of Directors.

About the Indiana Community Action Network

In Indiana, there are 22 Community Action Agencies that serve all 92 counties of Indiana and comprise the Indiana Community Action Network. Each Community Action Agency periodically analyzes community needs to identify strategies that will work best in attacking poverty. Each CAA is distinct because its programs reflect the needs of their local communities. These agencies are unique in their ability to deploy diverse program activities and services in meeting their mission.

Community Action Agencies operate an array of programs which include, but are not limited to: Head Start, Energy Assistance Program, Weatherization Program, Individual Development Accounts, Homeownership Counseling, Owner Occupied Rehabilitation, Housing Development, Foster Grandparents, Child Care, and many more programs and services.


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