The National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) aims to ensure that the federal government honors its commitment to fighting poverty, especially through the work of Community Action Agencies.
As part of the War on Poverty, President Johnson launched the Community Action Program in 1964. The program established Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in communities throughout the United States to coordinate poverty relief programs. Popular programs administered by CAAs include Head Start, Weatherization Assistance, and Meals on Wheels.
Since the Community Action Program’s inception, its approach has emphasized local priorities and maximum feasible participation. One requirement for Community Action Agencies is that individuals from the communities served must be represented in the decision-making body of the agencies.
In that way, the community action approach empowers struggling individuals by including them in the community’s problem-solving process, and ensures collaboration of all of the community’s stakeholders in determining priorities and actions.
Community Action Agencies now serve 99 percent of the counties in the United States.
The National Community Action Foundation was created in 1981 with the purpose of representing CAAs and their state and regional associations in Washington, D.C. Current Executive Director David Bradley, with the mentorship of Sargent Shriver, co-founded the organization in an effort to ensure that the federal government would continue to support the Community Action Program.
NCAF’s mission is to ensure the federal government honors its commitment to fighting poverty, especially through the work of Community Action Agencies. NCAF’s platform is to: