Community Action Agencies

A staggering 40% of Americans fall into poverty during their life time.  Community Action understands that job loss, cuts in hours or wages, illness, disability, and caregiving can trigger episodes of poverty.  Community Action is dedicated to helping people weather hard times and get back on their feet.

About 30% of people who are poor this year will make it back to the middle class with the help of local Community Action Agencies!  Community Action helps reduce hardship and hopelessness.  

Michigan Community Action is the statewide association that supports the 28 local Community Action Agencies in Michigan offering services in these focus areas. Community Action is effective because we...

Understand poverty

Each agency’s board of directors is made up of people from three sectors: Public (government officials), private (the business community), and the low-income community. The perspective of former Community Action clients is valuable to seeing that help is delivered in the way needed by our communities. Local perspective from these distinct groups is essential to serving communities well.

Identify diverse funding sources

As government funding becomes increasingly unstable, Community Action Agencies pursue a wide array of support, including social enterprise spin-offs like OLHSA’s Affordable Assistance, and develop stronger donor relationships with their local energy providers for Walk for Warmth campaigns and other fundraisers.

Create valuable partnerships

Michigan Community Action and local agencies proactively work with community partners, including other non-profits, government entities, and corporations, to explore and create solutions for low-income families. We reach beyond our doors to promote jobs, education and economic development.

Tailors programs to each community

Funding is locally administered, empowering each local agency to serve the needs of its specific community. Some programs are needed statewide, like Weatherization, and each agency also has unique programs. Our most flexible and innovative funding is the Community Services Block Grant, which is used creatively and effectively for each local community.

Are non-partisan

Community Action is attractive to all political affiliations. It helps people in times of vulnerability by through locally-sourced solutions. Community Action Agencies have the opportunity to help people and change lives, while promoting accountability and volunteerism. We have historically enjoyed support across the political spectrum.

Explore the history of Community Action and the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 further in depth.

The funding that makes Community Action Agencies unique is the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).  Learn more about CSBG.