As Community Action turns 50, Bossier Office of Community Services reflects on service

2040

On August 20, 1964 in Washington, DC, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). The EOA created a variety of programs – including Community Action Agencies – as part of his war on Poverty.

Bossier Community Action Program was one of those Agencies established to address local poverty problems in rural, urban and suburban communities throughout Bossier Parish.

Bossier Community Action Program got its start serving Bossier Parish residents in 1965 and until 1973 was administered as the private, non-profit Community Action Agency for both Caddo and Bossier Parishes.

In 1979, the Agency’s name was changed to Bossier Office of Community Services and was established as a public, non-profit agency under the auspices of the Bossier Parish Police Jury and in 1996 was re-established as a private, non-profit agency administered under a Board of Directors. The experience of this Agency is widely varied, with programs for the very low-income, elderly, homeless, infant/toddlers, preschoolers, pregnant women, disabled, etc.

Bossier Office of Community Services have received many recognitions and acknowledgments for its work on alleviating poverty.

“The Agency’s track record in Bossier Parish highlights the positive impact we’ve had helping our neighbors through a variety of financial and personal challenges,” said Debra Hamilton, Executive/Head Start Director. “We help over 8,000 families and/or individuals each year change their lives with a variety of programs such as LlHEAP (lowIncome Housing Energy Assistance Program), Transportation, Head Start/Early Head Start and our success stories underscore our ability to achieve measurable results. We are committed to fighting this ‘War on Poverty.'”

Community Action Agencies across the Country will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Community Action. Nationally, the Community Action Partnership will honor the occasion during its 2014 Annual Convention August 19-22 in Washington, DC. And locally, Bossier Office of Community Services will host an Awards/Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday, May 28, 10:30 a.m. at Martin Luther King Center, 1519 Hooter Park Drive, Bossier City.

“In the last fifty years, Community Action has been extremely successful helping people achieve and maintain economic security experiencing budget cuts, and increased demands for services during challenging economic times,” said Don Mathis, President and CEO of the Community Action Partnership National Office.