What Do We Do?

CAPLAW is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization, established in 1989, dedicated to providing the legal, governance and management resources necessary to sustain and strengthen the national Community Action Agency (CAA) network. For over 50 years, since the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 established the Community Action Program, CAAs have been working to strengthen low-income communities and to help low-income individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency and economic security. Nationwide, over 1,000 CAAs use their core Community Services Block Grant funding to leverage almost $10 billion in total funding; provide a multitude of services – such as job training, Head Start, housing, economic development and transportation; and advocate on economic security issues.

Through its in-house staff and a network of private attorneys, CAPLAW provides consultations, training, and resources on a wide variety of legal, governance and management topics. This assistance enables CAAs to operate legally sound and well-governed organizations, thereby enhancing their ability to effect positive change in their communities.


CAPLAW's Mission

What is Community Action?

The "Community Action Program" ("CAP") was established over thirty-five years ago by Congress as a centerpiece of the War on Poverty. The goal of the program, which is now part of the Community Services Block Grant, is to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower low-income individuals and families to become fully self-sufficient. The program is carried out by a national network of over 1300 designated Community Action Agencies ("CAAs"), which provide a diverse array of services to and advocacy on behalf of low-income individuals and families.