The Economic Opportunity Act and subsequent legislation established a network of Community Action Agencies across the United States. Community Action Agencies were charged with developing strategies responsive to local needs. The legislation through the years established specific programs, which were designed to help the Community Action Agency to achieve its mission. Included were:
1. Adult Basic Education programs for individuals “who have attained age eighteen and whose inability to read and write the English languages constitutes a substantial impairment of their ability to get or retain employment commensurate with their real ability…”
2. Employment and Investment Incentives “to assist in the establishment, preservation and strengthening of small business concerns and improve the managerial skills employed in such enterprises…”
3.Work Experience Programs”to expand opportunities for constructive work experience and other needed training available to persons who are unable to support or care for themselves or their families…”
4.Work-study programs “to stimulate and promote the part-time employment of students in institution of higher education…”
5.Work-training “to provide useful work experience opportunities for unemployed young men and young women…”
6. Job Corps “to prepare for the responsibilities of citizenship and to increase the employability of young men and women…”
7. Senior Opportunities “to develop and carry out a plan for participation of the elderly in programs providing employment opportunities, public service opportunities, education and other services and activities…”
8.Comprehensive Health Services “to aid in developing and carrying out comprehensive health service projects focused upon the needs of urban and rural areas…”
9. Head Start to effectively “deliver comprehensive health, educational, nutritional, social and other services to economically disadvantaged children and their families.
10. Housing Development and Services Organizations to encourage the establishment of housing development and services organizations designed to focus on the housing needs of low-income families and individuals
11. Neighborhood Centers “designed to promote the effectiveness of needed services in such fields as health, education, manpower, consumer protection, child and economic development, housing, legal, recreation and social services…”
12. Day Care Services “to provide day care for children from families which need such assistance to become or remain self sufficient…”
13. Community Economic Development to “encourage the development of special programs by which the residents of urban and rural low-income areas may, through self-help and mobilization of the community at large, with appropriate Federal assistance, improve the quality of their economic and social participation in community life…and the establishment of permanent economic and social benefits
14. Legal Services “to provide equal access to the system of justice in our Nation.”
15. Emergency assistance “to meet immediate and urgent individual and family needs, including the need for health services, nutritious food, housing and employment related assistance
16. Linkages “to coordinate and establish linkages between governmental and other social service programs to assure the effective delivery of such services…”
17. Community Involvement “to encourage the use of entities in the private sector of the community in efforts to ameliorate poverty in the community
18. Community Food and nutrition programs to “coordinate existing private and public assistance resources” and “to develop innovative approaches the State and local level to meet the nutrition needs of low-income people.
19.The Older Americans Act recognizes that local agencies “foster the development and implementation of comprehensive and coordinated systems to service older individuals…and multipurpose centers, in order to-
20. Secure and maintain maximum independence and dignity in a home environment for older individuals capable of self care with appropriate supportive services;]
21. Remove individual and social barriers to economic and personal independence of older individuals;
22. Provide a continuum of care for vulnerable older individuals; and
23. Secure the opportunity for older individuals to receive managed in-home and community-based long-term care services.
24. Community Action is also committed to federal policy regarding persons with developmental disabilities including recognition that:
25. Disability is a natural part of the human experience that does not diminish the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to enjoy the opportunity to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society and experience full integration and inclusion in economic, political, social, cultural and educational mainstream of American society;
26. Supporting protection and advocacy systems of individuals with developmental disabilities;
27. Individuals with developmental disabilities are capable of achieving independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion into the community, and often require the provision of services, supports and other assistance to achieve independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion;
28. Individuals with developmental disabilities and their families have competencies, capabilities and personal goals that should be recognized, supported, and encouraged and any assistance to such individuals should be provided in an individualized manner, consistent with the unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, and capabilities of such individuals
29. Individuals with developmental disabilities should have access to opportunities and the necessary support to be included in community life, have interdependent relationships, live in homes and communities an make contributions to their families, community, State and Nation.