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Empowering Communities for 60 Years: The CSBG Legacy

In 1964, amidst a nation grappling with poverty, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." As a result, the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) was born, a crucial piece of legislation aimed at empowering local communities to combat poverty. Fast forward to 2024, and we find ourselves celebrating the 60th anniversary of Community Action and the enduring impact of CSBG. Blue Ridge Community Action, nestled in the heart of North Carolina, stands as a beacon of hope for Burke, Caldwell, and Rutherford counties, utilizing CSBG to create positive change in the lives of countless individuals.

The CSBG has a rich history rooted in the belief that communities possess the strength to address their unique challenges. Enacted as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, this grant program aimed to mobilize local resources, foster collaboration, and empower individuals and families facing poverty. Over the past six decades, the CSBG has evolved to meet the changing needs of communities, serving as a vital catalyst for positive transformation.

Blue Ridge Community Action's Commitment:

Blue Ridge Community Action, situated in Morganton, NC, has steadfastly advocated for its community members' well-being. Leveraging the support provided by CSBG, the organization has implemented various programs and initiatives tailored to address the specific needs of Burke, Caldwell, and Rutherford counties.

Blue Ridge Community Action utilizes CSBG funding to offer economic empowerment programs, including financial literacy workshops, job training, and access to employment opportunities. By equipping individuals with the tools they need to secure stable employment, the organization contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty. BRCA's REACH (Removing Economic Adversities, Challenges, and Hardships) Self-Sufficiency Program helps promote the personal growth of some of the community's most vulnerable populations.

As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Community Action and the enduring impact of CSBG, Blue Ridge Community Action stands as a testament to the program's success. While BRCA will not reach it's 60th Year of Service until 2025, the impact of Community Action organizations across the United States is prominent through time. Our organization continues to innovate and adapt to the community's evolving needs, embodying the spirit of empowerment that has been at the core of the CSBG since its inception.

Reflecting on the past 60 years of Community Action, the journey is far from over. Blue Ridge Community Action remains committed to the vision of a community free from poverty. With continued support from programs like CSBG, the organization looks forward to shaping a brighter future for Burke, Caldwell, and Rutherford counties.

The history of the Community Services Block Grant in the United States is intertwined with the story of Blue Ridge Community Action's unwavering dedication to serving its community. It is ingrained in our agency's culture, as our purpose is to continue to mission of Helping People, Changing Lives. As we commemorate the 60th anniversary of Community Action Agencies, let us celebrate the progress made and recommit ourselves to the ongoing fight against poverty. Together, we can build stronger, more resilient communities for generations.

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