Organizational Structure Timelines:
March 1965 - Founded as Huntsville and Madison County Community Action Committee
1984 - Name changed to Community Action Agency
2004 - Name changed to Community Action Partnership
In March 1965, CAPHMLC was incorporated as the Huntsville-Madison County Community Action Committee (CAC) to eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty in Huntsville and Madison County by opening up to everyone the opportunity to live in decency and dignity. Mr. Milton K. Cummings was the initial Chairman of the Board of Directors and Mr. John Broadway was the first Executive Director.
In 1967 Mr. Charles Ray was hired to replace Mr. Gerald Hornsey. VISTA workers and a small staff of CAC established the Dilaci Center. Major components of the center included: the Domestic Training Program, the Consumer Education Program, and the Homemaker Services Program.
In August 1970, The Neighborhood System was established consisting of: eleven (11) Board of Directors; eleven (11) well organized Community Councils; eleven (11) Planning Boards. Efforts resulted in many jobs being secured, many families housed, educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people, and Budget increased to over four (4) million dollars.
In July 1971, Mr. Charles Ray resigned and Mr. Edwin S. Hill was hired to replace him as Executive Director. Mr. Hill assumed the helm of a struggling agency plagued with a multitude of adversities, including issues both internally and externally.
On January 27, 1973, President Nixon ordered that OEO be abolished. In April of that year after law suits by CAAs and Labor Unions, a Federal Court ordered the Nixon Administration to halt the termination. Despite these adversities and uncertainties, CAC remained steadfast in its efforts to move low income families and individuals toward self-sufficiency.
The Head Start Program was expanded from a summer program to a full-day full-year program which had a positive impact on citizens of the service areas.
On August 13, 1981 the CSBG Act was signed into law. Community Services Administration was replaced by the Office of Community Services (OCS). In 1984, the service area was expanded to include neighboring Limestone County and the organization’s name was officially changed to Community Action Agency (CAA) Huntsville/Madison & Limestone Counties, Inc.
Also, the 80’s witnessed an increase in the agency’s budget with the increase of Head Start and other projects, and with the steady stream of funding brought on by the CSBG Act.
The 90’s ushered in the provision of increased funding for the programs such as: USDA, Head Start, CSBG, Emergency Community Services (Homeless), Weatherization Assistance Program, and HUD Comprehensive Housing.
In February 1991, the CAA Board of Directors realized its’ “dream of office ownership” by closing on a 6000 sq. building at 3516 Stringfield Road NW – Huntsville, Alabama 35810.
The CSBG Monitoring and Assessment Task Force supported by ACF, OCS, and USD HHS produced a National Strategy Plan that identified six (6) national goals for Community Action. In 1998 ROMA was mandated for use by CAA’s. ROMA focuses on “outcomes” resulting from agency activities in addition to counting of clients and units of services.
2001 – OCS issued Memorandum 49 which established CSBG as a part of CAA and not an individual program. CAA works best in partnership and collaboration with other community based organizations. CSBG Funds are used to leverage and focus on client and community.
October 2004 – Mr. Edwin S. Hill, CEO, retired after thirty-three (33) years.
January 2005 – Dr. LeRoy Gradford, Jr. was employed to replace Mr. Hill. Gradford has focused much time and attention to Agency Capacity and collaborating with the community while providing services to move low-income families/individuals toward self-sufficiency. Services include: Education & Personal Development, Employment, Energy Assistance, Financial Assistance, Health/Nutrition Programs, Housing Counseling, Money Management, and Disabled and Elderly Programs.