Montgomery County Community Action

Montgomery County Community Action

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcome to the Montgomery County Community Action Agency Blog!

The Montgomery County Community Action Agency (CAA) is the County’s official anti-poverty agency. The CAA is located within the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Affairs. 

Our Mission 
To conduct and promote programs that create an awareness of poverty, to promote coordination among agencies and better use of resources, to develop leadership among low-income residents of the County, and to develop community strategies to attack the basic causes of poverty. 

A Brief History of Community Action
On August 20, 1964, President Lyndon Baines Johns signed into law, Senate Bill 2642, better known as the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, declaring “unconditional war on poverty.” Title II of that law, provided for urban and rural communities to mobilize their resources to combat poverty through Community Action Programs (CAP’s). 

The most important provision of the Economic Opportunity Act was the requirement that Community Action Programs be developed, conducted, and administered with the maximum participation of the residents of the area. The Community Action Agencies (CAA's) were established the following year. 

Since that time, the Montgomery County CAA and its Board have been charged with the organization of low-income communities, the development of leaders within low-income communities, and the development of systems to increase their self-sufficiency, self-esteem and gain more control over their own lives. 

What does the Montgomery Community Action Agency do?
The CAA addresses the needs of low-income residents in the County through the following programs: 
  • Head Start – the CAA oversees the County’s Head Start Program, which currently serves 648 three and four-year-olds in the County
  • Partner agencies – the CAA provides oversight and monitoring of 25 County contracts with local non-profit organizations that provide direct services in several areas, including job training, legal services, clothing and food, and education
  • The Takoma East Silver Spring (TESS) Center – the CAA oversees and staffs the TESS Center, which provides information and referrals, free legal services, interpretation and translation, and many other services for the County’s diverse, low-income community
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) – the CAA staffs and manages this free, year-round tax preparation services for low-income residents, which operates at several locations throughout the County 

What is the Community Action Board?
The Community Action Board (CAB) serves in an advisory capacity to the County Executive and County Council, and as an advocate on behalf of the poor and working poor of the County. Members are appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council. The (CAB) is this governing body for the Montgomery County Head Start Program and the Community Action Agency. 

Community Action Board Meetings 
The CAB meets the 4th Tuesday of the month (except in July, August and December) at 7 PM at 401 Hungerford Drive in Rockville in the Tan Conference Room. The Executive Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 4 PM in the 2nd floor conference room at 2424 Reedie Drive in Wheaton.