May is Community Action Month, created to highlight and celebrate the 1,000-plus Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the country. Community Action was created in 1964, under President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. Since its inception, the core purpose is to help lower-income individuals and families build economic security.

Community Action recognizes the complexity of the issues of poverty. CAAs build solutions specific to local needs by leveraging state, federal and community resources, maximizing the involvement of people with low incomes, engaging with community partners, and advocating for systemic change. There are 10 CAAs in Maine, providing services in every corner of the state.

Since 1965, the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP), has worked to help people of all ages build economic stability. Programs include Head Start, Early Head Start and child care, including Educare Central Maine; Maine Families home visiting; child abuse prevention efforts; the Home Energy Assistance Program, weatherization, and home repair; homebuyer education and financial counseling; creating affordable housing; MaineCare transportation and public transit; resource navigation services; and the South End Teen Center in Waterville.

KVCAP continued to be a vital safety net throughout the pandemic by helping people in need with food supports and other resources to keep them healthy and safe, implementing the Rent Relief program, assisting people while in quarantine for COVID-19, and so much more.

The promise of Community Action best describes the intent of this network across our nation: 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.

I am so proud to volunteer for this incredible organization and encourage you to learn more about all KVCAP has to offer by visiting www.kvcap.org.

Dennis Carrillo

Waterville

president, KVCAP board of directors

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