The Promise of Community Action
Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.
Programs and services we offer
Housing Department: The housing Department provides clients with options for energy efficiency homes, affordable rental units, rental assistance, and owner-occupied rehabilitation.
Early Childhood programs: The Early Childhood programs promote children’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development while assisting the entire family in their efforts to reach economic self-sufficiency.
Family Outreach: Family Outreach provides assistance during crisis, linkage to resources, advocacy for services, financial counseling, and goal attainment.
Health & Nutrition: Health and Nutrition fosters the healthy lifestyles of Central Nebraskans through health promotion, prevention, and education.
Contact the CNCS office nearest you for more information:
Loup City Central Office – (308) 745-0780
Ainsworth – (402) 387-1035
Broken Bow – (308) 872-6013
Central City – (308) 946-3794
Columbus – (402) 564-1124
Grand Island – (308) 385-5500
O’Neill – (402) 336-4298
President Johnson signing the EOA, August 1964
Central Nebraska Community Action Partnership will strive to “Empower individuals and families while guiding them in the process to become self-sufficient and experience an improved quality of life.”
Our vision includes:
Empowering individuals and families while guiding them in the process to become self sufficient and experience an improved quality of life.
This process includes enriching relationships, communities and partnerships to further secure resources and collaborate for efficient and effective utilization of all resources for optimum service delivery and positive life changes.
Partnerships with other resources help us lengthen our reach, fill service gaps & break down barriers to achieve our ultimate goal of ending poverty.
Working with the communities we serve, Central Nebraska Community Action Partnership is a trusted catalyst for meaningful and lasting change that improves the lives of people.
We are a community action agency that was created in 1965 as a result of President Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act. CNCAP specializes in bringing resources totaling more than $11.6 million into the 22,985 square miles of our service area. CNCAP addresses the needs of 15,000 unduplicated persons in North Central Nebraska through our programs and services.
History of Community Action
What is Community Action?
In 1964, The Great Society, as envisioned by President Lyndon Johnson, was a sweeping plan to improve the lives of all Americans, regardless of their circumstances. Inspired by President Kennedy and his New Frontier, Johnson pledged to fulfill his promise of equal opportunity for all by enacting several comprehensive changes within the federal government. In August of that same year, the Economic Opportunity Act was signed into law by President Johnson creating the nationwide Community Action Network.
The War on Poverty
In 1963, shortly before he was assassinated, President Kennedy had asked his economic advisors to draw up some proposals to address the problem of American poverty. Johnson took up this charge after he succeeded Kennedy as President. In Johnson's first State of the Union address on June 8, 1964, he called for an unconditional war to defeat poverty. He expanded and revised the proposals given to Kennedy and developed the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
CAPS (Community Action Programs) - CAPS turned out to be the most controversial part of the package, as it proposed the "maximum feasible participation" by poor people themselves to determine what would help them the most. CAPS were a radical departure from how government had run most social reform programs in the past.
The Economic Opportunity Act was innovative legislation, but it received only about $1 billion to divide among the various programs and remained critically underfunded. By 1966, Congress appropriated $4 billion for the programs.
The Start of Community Action
Community Action was a bold idea, especially for the federal government. It handed over control to the local level, so that programs were geared specifically for target population needs. This concept, “maximum feasible participation”, represented a new paradigm in the government and many sectors were wary of its innovative ideas. President Johnson selected a member of President Kennedy’s inner circle to head up the newly formed “Office of Economic Opportunity” –Sargent Shriver-Head of OEO.
The guiding principle of maximum feasible participation continues today in Community Action. Local Community Action boards are tripartite, in other words, have representation from all segments of the local community including their low-income clients.