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What is a Community Action Agency?

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are private and public nonprofit organizations established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America’s War on Poverty. Community Action Agencies help people to help themselves in achieving self-sufficiency. Today there are approximately 1,000 Community Action Agencies, serving low-income residents of every state as well as Puerto Rico and the Trust Territories. The goal of CAAs is to empower low-income people and families to achieve self-sufficiency, reducing the impact of poverty.

What is the Community Action Partnership?

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) cover 96 percent of the nation’s counties. Our agencies are connected by the national Community Action Partnership association as well as regional, state, and other associations. 

CAAs are a primary source of direct support for the more than 35 million people who live in poverty in the United States. The majority of CAA program participants are extremely low-income, with incomes below 75 percent of the federal poverty threshold.

The Community Action Partnership network serves more than:

  • 16.2 million individuals per year

  • 3 million families per year

CAAs serve all regions and populations:

  • 54% of CAAs serve rural areas.

  • 36% of CAAs serve areas considered both urban and rural.

  • 10% of CAAs serve urban areas. (This includes PCSI.)

  • The average population for a CAA service area is approximately 300,000 people. The average number of low-income people within each service area is a little less than 40,000. Pittsburgh has about 300,000 people and about 80,000 low-income people.

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