Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that studies the causes and effects of poverty in our communities and works toward solutions. The Council addresses poverty in Central Kentucky through service delivery, community involvement, and advocacy.
The Council makes things happen in our communities. Each year we work with more than 20,000 people who are seeking economic security and a chance to achieve self-sufficiency. The Council is a member of the Community Action Partnership, a national network of more than 1,000 community action agencies across the United States that work to eliminate poverty on the local level. We are also a member of Community Action Kentucky, the state association representing Kentucky's 23 community action agencies. The Council has an annual operating budget of more than $40 million and employs more than 350 staff.
Community Action Council prevents, reduces, and eliminates poverty among individuals, families, and communities through direct services and advocacy.
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.
Community Action agencies were established throughout the United States in response to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, a cornerstone of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. This law was intended to mobilize resources to fight poverty throughout the United States, and recognized that some efforts would be most effective when acting on the local level. The Act defined a community action program as one that provides services, assistance, and other activities of sufficient scope and size to give promise of progress toward elimination of poverty or a cause or causes of poverty through developing employment opportunities, improving human performance, motivation, and productivity, or bettering the conditions under which people live, learn, and work. Nonprofit agencies were established in communities throughout the country to administer such programs using funds from the federal government and other public and private sources. The look of American poverty has changed in some ways over the past fifty years, but the essential challenge remains the same. The chief values of the anti-poverty movement have always been to serve the best interests of people with low income and to improve the quality of life throughout communities by promoting economic development and expanding opportunity. Community Action Lexington-Fayette County (CALF) was organized by five local community activists in 1965. In 1974 the Council expanded its service area to include Nicholas County, and later, Bourbon and Harrison Counties. Today, the organization known as Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties addresses the needs of both urban and rural populations in Central Kentucky.
As an organization that believes that people with low income must be active participants in the ultimate solutions to poverty, the Council is committed to developing civic capital and promoting involvement by identifying and capitalizing on the assets, leadership and talents present within the community. We collaborate closely with other local organizations and businesses in order to share resources. We use state-of the art technology to enhance the quality and efficiency of our services and service delivery, holding ourselves accountable for measurable results.