Community Services Block Grant
The 1964 Economic Opportunity Act created the Community Action Program, which was administered through the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), along with other important programs, such as Head Start, Legal Services and Job Corps. OEO was renamed as the Community Services Administration in 1975. In 1981, Congress enacted the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which consolidated programs authorized under the Economic Opportunity Act under the new Community Services Block Grant or CSBG.
CSBG is the only federal program with the explicit and overarching goal of reducing poverty, regardless of its cause. CSBG pursues this goal by providing critical funding to the nationwide network of local Community Action Agencies and supporting their locally-driven comprehensive approach to fighting poverty.
The Department of Health and Human Services allots CSBG funds to states, which retain a small portion for oversight, monitoring, technical assistance and statewide initiatives. The majority of funds – at least 90 percent of each state’s allotment – must be passed through to local agencies. CAAs receive and administer other resources in addition to these CSBG grants, which typically form a small component of their overall budgets. Why is CSBG essential to Community Action?
The CSBG Act defines, supports and enforces the unique features of Community Action.
CSBG is the only dedicated funding source that supports core Community Action functions.
CSBG provides flexible funds to support gap-filling activities that address unmet needs, innovative initiatives to combat poverty and promote self-sufficiency and rapid responses to local emergencies.
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