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The primary purpose of Schuylkill Community Action shall be to coordinate and focus all available resources upon the needs of low-income Schuylkill County residents enabling them to obtain adequate, affordable housing and secure opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency.
Schuylkill Community Action is a private, non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Schuylkill Community Action was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1965. It was formed as a result of the combination of two (2) community action grant programs operated by the City of Pottsville and the County of Schuylkill. The agency went by the name "The Economic Opportunity Cabinet of Schuylkill County" until it officially changed its name to "Schuylkill Community Action" on July 1, 2000.
Primary funding originated from the Federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which gave legal authority for local governments to establish community action agencies. This Act was a major part of President Johnson's "War on Poverty." The Economic Opportunity Act was the first major Legislation that required active citizen participation in planning and implementing federally funded programs at the local level.
In 1974, Congress amended the Economic Opportunity Act, creating the Community Services Administration. Implementation of CSA activities and monitoring was conducted through ten (10) Regional Offices. The Community Services Administration also funded State Economic Opportunity Offices, which were designated by the Governors in each state to mobilize resources at the state level to assist community action agencies.
In 1981, federal legislation known as the Omnibus Reconciliation Act repealed most of the Economic Opportunity Act. The Community Services Administration was eliminated as a separate federal agency and the Omnibus Reconciliation Act, Subtitle B, Section 671, established the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Funds provided to community action agencies through CSBG were now channeled through the states instead of coming directly from the federal government. The Federal Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Services now administers the CSBG Program. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Community & Economic Development, Office of Community Services receives the block grant funds, which are distributed by formula to community action agencies.
Schuylkill Community Action is currently the primary organization for addressing the needs of low-income residents of Schuylkill County. SCA still utilizes the Community Services Block Grant Program as its core funding source, and employs those funds to leverage a wide range of federal, state, local and private resources.
- Marie Maurer
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