The Community Services Bureau serves as the federally designated Community Action Agency for Contra Costa County. We are part of the national Community Action Partnership network of over 1,100 agencies that work to alleviate poverty and empower low-income families in communities throughout the United States.
Along with Head Start, Community Action Agencies have their origins in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Head Start and Community Action are the core components of the bureau's mission. Both have the goal of eliminating poverty and empowering people and families. Like Head Start, our Community Action Program is accountable to a tri-partite Council - the Economic Opportunity Council made up of equal parts of low-income people, community representatives, and the Board of Supervisors.
Several programs make up the Bureau's cluster of Community Action services including: the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Weatherization.
The bureau currently receives over $600,000 a year in CSBG funds to support the administration and operation of a variety of poverty reduction programs. The Economic Opportunity Council develops and adopts an annual Community Action Plan to outline the programs and strategies that reduce poverty in Contra Costa County. These programs and strategies are guided by measurable performance indicators that have been adopted by the National Community Action Partnership.
In addition to supporting services to Head Start families, the Bureau also uses CSBG funds to support community-based programs for at-risk youth development and employment, self-employment, home ownership, disaster preparedness, and other community partnerships that assist low-income families and persons in escaping from poverty.