Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) is part of a network of private, non-profit organizations that were created by the federal government in 1964 to combat poverty. Community Action Agencies have a tripartite board structure that is designated to promote the participation of the entire community to assist low-income families. Community Action Agencies seek to involve the community, including elected public officials, private sector representatives, and especially residents who live on limited incomes, in assessing local needs and combating the causes and conditions of poverty.
OACAC is one of 19 Community Action Agencies across the state of Missouri, helping people achieve self-sufficiency. The statewide association of all 19 Community Action Agencies is the Missouri Community Action Network – Missouri CAN. To learn more about Missouri CAN or to find a Community Action Agency serving a specific region in the state, please visit http://www.communityaction.org/.
For over 50 years OACAC has envisioned a community of reduced poverty and improved quality of life for the families and individuals we serve.
To enrich the lives of families and individuals within our communities by providing opportunities, offering assistance and empowering people to make positive change.
At OACAC we value…
• Feelings, privacy, needs and time of the individual
• Open and honest communications
• Teamwork to accomplish our mission
• Assisting individuals and families in need
• Building effective partnerships
• Generating, maximizing and distributing resources
• Investing in children
• Listening to the community
• Providing educational and employment opportunities
• Encouraging self-sufficiency
In November 1965, the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) was organized as a non-profit agency designed to work toward alleviating the causes and conditions of poverty in Southwest Missouri. Today, OACAC serves the low-income population in ten counties: Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster. OACAC is funded in part by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Throughout the years, programs have been implemented to focus on new issues, modified to meet the changing needs of the community, and have been spun off to other agencies to meet the challenges in the Ozarks area more effectively and efficiently.
In order to reduce poverty in its community, a Community Action Agency works to better focus available local, state, private, and federal resources to assist low-income individuals and families to acquire useful skills and knowledge, gain access to new opportunities and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
A Community Action Agency:
• has received designation as a Community Action Agency either from the local government under the provisions of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, or from the state under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act of 1981, as amended;
• is recognized as an eligible entity as defined in the CSBG Act and can receive funding from the state under the Community Services Block Grant;
• has the governing board consisting of at least one-third democratically selected representatives of low-income people, one-third local public officials or their designees, and the remainder representatives of business, industry, labor, religious, social welfare, and other private groups in the community; and
• belongs to a national network of similar agencies, the majority of which received their initial designation, federal recognition and funding under the amended Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
A Community Action Agency carries out its mission through a variety of means including:
• mobilization of financial and non-financial resources
• advocacy on behalf of low-income people
• partnerships with other community-based organizations to eliminate poverty
• community-wide assessments of needs and strengths
• comprehensive antipoverty plans and strategies
• provision of a broad range of direct services