Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families by providing services and resources that will facilitate the building of self-esteem and self-sufficiency through the active involvement of the total community.
Our vision is to become an agency with unlimited avenues of resources for our communities, taking advantage of every opportunity for growth.
Our value is to be a well-respected organization of excellence in which services and resources are delivered with the utmost integrity, recognizing the diversity of the customers we serve.
Who we are
Community Action For Improvement, Inc. is a private non-profit organization founded in 1966. CAFI has provided services for over 45 years to low income persons in five county service area including Carroll, Cowetta, Heard, Meriwether, and Troup counties.
The Head Start program also serves Harris County and Weatherization serves Douglas & Muscogee Counties.
Since our inception, CAFI has helped more than one million residents through the carefully planned administration of social services, advocacy and community education. We empower citizens to become self-sufficient by offering programs and services that enable individuals and families to emerge from economic despair, prevent homelessness and enhance educational goals for an improved quality of life.
"The war on poverty is not a struggle simply to support people, to make them dependent on the generosity of others. It is a struggle to give people a chance. It is an effort to allow them to develop and use their capacities, as we have been allowed to develop and use ours, so that they can share, as others share, in the promise of this nation."
President Johnson’s address to Congress in March 1964
In 1964, the poverty rate in the US was hovering around 19%. During President Lyndon B. Johnson's State of the Union Address in January of 1965, he attacked the problem head on and officially declared "War on Poverty". Congress responded by passing the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 thereby creating the Office of Economic Opportunity to administer federal funds for use by states on anti-poverty fighting measures. The funds would be distributed to a network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) - nonprofit private and public organizations established by the Economic Opportunity Act to fight America's War on Poverty.
What is Community Action?
Community Action Agencies are private nonprofit or public organizations that were created by the federal government in 1964 to combat poverty in geographically designated areas. Status as a Community Action Agency is the result of an explicit designation by local or state government.
A Community Action Agency has a tripartite board structure that is designed to promote the participation of the entire community in the reduction or elimination of poverty. Community Action Agencies seek to involve the community, including elected public officials, private sector representatives, and especially low-income residents, in assessing local needs and attacking the causes and conditions of poverty.
While most poverty-related organizations focus on a specific area of need, such as job training, health-care, housing, or economic development, Community Action Agencies reach out to low-income people in their communities, address their multiple needs through a comprehensive approach, develop partnerships with other community organizations, involve low-income clients in the agencies' operations, and administer a full range of coordinated programs to have a measurable impact on poverty.