May is Community Action Month Part 1: What is Community Action?

President Lyndon Johnson signing the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964


By ACSET Community Action Agency

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 established a network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the country as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. CAAs were created to coordinate poverty relief programs and help people in their communities achieve self-sufficiency. Today there are over 1,000 Community Action Agencies serving 99% of the counties in the US.

Each May is recognized as Community Action Month and provides an opportunity to celebrate the work CAA’s continue to do in the fight against poverty. ACSET Community Action Agency (CAA) is doing this work here in Kent County.

ACSET CAA’s Mission: We fight the causes and circumstances of poverty by investing in low-income individuals and families. Through dedicated staff and community partnerships we provide services, resources, education and advocacy to improve the quality of life for all residents of Kent County.

Each year ACSET CAA, with help from partnering agencies and volunteers, serves over 5000 Kent County residents. Most of these individuals live at 100% or less of federal poverty guidelines — that’s $2,050 per month or less for a family of four. They offer a variety of programs for low-income individuals, including:

  • Senior Services
  • Food Distribution
  • Transportation
  • Utility Assistance
  • Weatherization
  • Tax Preparation
  • Homeless Prevention

To learn more or find out if you qualify for services, contact ACSET CAA at 616.336.4000 or find them online at

Your Community in Action! is provided by ASCET Community Action Agency. To learn more about how they help meet emergency needs and assist with areas of self-sufficiency, visit