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60 Years of Community Action

For 60 years, the nation’s Community Action Network has inspired a spirit of hope, helped people change their lives, and improved communities. When national, state, Tribal, and local leaders tap into Community Action Agencies (CAAs), they can promote workable solutions that connect more families to opportunity—and make America a better place to live for everyone.

The signing of the Economic Opportunity Act on August 20, 1964, launched a new movement and, over time—in virtually every county in America, rural, urban, suburban, and frontier—local people came together and established a Community Action organization. For nearly 60 years, individuals, families, and communities have supported their local CAA. Today, about 1,000 agencies are charged with the sweeping mission of addressing the causes and conditions of poverty that hold people and places back.

Community Action is distinguished by a national network of CAAs sharing a common set of core principles—precepts rooted in both the governing legislation and the history and knowledge developed over 60 years. America’s CAAs connect millions of individuals and families to greater opportunity, transforming their lives and making our communities—and our nation—stronger.

Community Action brings hope to people in many different situations: expectant mothers, adults returning to the community from prison, and seniors living independently. For 60 years, Community Action has met people where they are and come alongside them to help them achieve their goals, whether it was helping young adults secure the training needed to earn a living wage; preparing preschoolers for kindergarten; securing safe and affordable housing; or providing transportation to medical treatment centers for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. Community Action’s efforts have made life better for millions of Americans.

As a Community Action Agency, STEP engages diverse individuals, families, and communities in the pursuit of social and economic success through five Pathways to Success: Early Learning, Housing Options, Workforce Development, Community Collaboration, and Independent Living. 

In addition to the 60th Anniversary of Community Action, STEP celebrates Community Action Month each May as a reminder of the important work being done by STEP staff on a local level to empower struggling families within our communities. An "All Staff Call" took place on May 9 to bring together and recognize STEP's staff of nearly 300 employees for their hard work this year and beyond.

To learn more about the impact of our agency, please follow us on Facebook at for posts that include Mission Monday, Transformation Tuesday, Impact Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and Fact Friday among others.