On August 20, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act which created a variety of programs, including Community Action Agencies, as part of his War on Poverty. Two years later, Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County was established to wage the local war on poverty. The core concepts of Community Action remain the same today: promoting self-sufficiency for those of limited income, ensuring that all residents are able to live in dignity; implementing innovative and cost-effective programs to improve the lives and living conditions of the impoverished; providing support and instruction for everyone in need of assistance; and being a major voice of reason in establishing welfare system reforms.
May is officially designated Community Action month, and the local Community Action Agency is taking advantage of this opportunity to honor and celebrate the impact Community Action has on the lives of families throughout Jefferson County and the entire country. Community Action Planning Council remains committed to empowering the low-income population to achieve economic security by providing a broad range of services that meet the unique needs of each family and the community.
Throughout the month, a number of events are scheduled to take place to build greater awareness of Community Action services. On May 3, the Jefferson County Board of Legislators will offer a proclamation in recognition of Community Action month. That same evening, Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project, a program of Community Action Planning Council, will host a Child Care Provider Appreciation Ice Cream Social. The festivities continue on May 21 when Community Action staff, volunteers and community members march in the Armed Forces Day Parade. On May 23, the agency will host a brunch to recognize the dedicated tax preparation volunteers for their outstanding efforts. The month-long celebration concludes on May 26 with Grow with Community Action, a special open house event for low-income families, highlighting healthy habits, such as growing and preparing vegetables.
Last year, Community Action Planning Council helped better the lives of 9,437 individuals by providing essential services and life-changing opportunities, including early childhood education, family development, emergency food assistance, vocational education, job readiness supports, child care referrals, provider training, weatherization services, tax preparation, and more.
Despite budget cuts, shrinking resources, and increased demand for services during these challenging economic times, Community Action Planning Council continues to provide vital support to a broad cross-section of the local population, including families, children, students, senior citizens, military, veterans, single-parents, and anyone seeking an opportunity to achieve economic security. For more information about Community Action programs or special events scheduled throughout the month, please contact Dawn Cole at 315.782.4900, extension 250.