In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson began waging war on poverty. To combat poverty, Community Action Agencies (CAAs) were established. They are local private and public non-profit organizations that carry out the mission which was founded by the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act to fight poverty by empowering the poor in the United States. CAAs are intended to promote self-sufficiency, and they depend heavily on volunteer work, especially from the low-income community. They also depend heavily on federal funding, which now comes primarily from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program.
Community Action Program, Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc was established in May, 1965 and is one of five (5) Community Action Agencies in NH.
Each CAA has a board consisting of at least one-third low-income community members, one-third public officials, and up to one-third private sector leaders.
There are currently over 1,000 CAAs, engaged in a broad range of activities; typical activities include promoting citizen participation, providing energy assistance and home weatherization, administration of Head Start & Early Head Start and child care programs, job training, health, nutrition, housing and employment-related assistance; and to address the problems and barriers which block the achievement of self-sufficiency.