Proudly Serving Delaware for 55 Years!

Created to fight the

"War on Poverty"

What is a

Community Action Agency?

Community Action Agencies are private nonprofit or public organizations that were created by the federal government in 1964 to combat poverty in geographically designated areas.  Status as a Community Action Agency is the result of an explicit designation by local or state government.​                  A Community Action Agency has a tripartate board structure that is designed to promote the participation of the entire community in the reduction or elimination of poverty. 


Community Action Agencies seek to involve the community, including elected public officials, private sector representatives, and especially low-income residents, in assessing local needs and attacking the causes and conditions of poverty.​While most poverty-related organizations focus on a specific area of need, such as job training, healthcare, housing, or economic development, Community Action Agencies reach out to low-income people in their communities, address their multiple needs through a comprehensive approach, develop partnerships with other community organizations, involve low-income clients in the agencies' operations, and administer a full range of coordinated programs to have a measurable impact on poverty.

Founding Members

James Johnson

Vice President

Eugene Dvornick, Jr.

2nd Vice President

Carrie Casey-Sawyer


Brandy Nauman   ~   Brian McGlinchey   ~   Carolyn McNeice

Charlotte King   ~   Dr. Darren D. Blackson, MPA, Ed.D   ~   Edward Harrison

Evelyn Wilson  ~  Geraldine Thomas  ~  Joanne Reilly 

 John "Jack" Young  ~  Linda Price  ~  Michael Cannon

Reyna Gil-Ventura  ~  Ronald Handy, Sr.  ~  Troy Hazzard   ~    Tesha Miller

Our History

In 1964, the poverty rate in the US was hovering around 19%. ​ During President Lyndon B. Johnson's State of the Union ​Address in January of 1965, he attacked the problem head on ​and officially declared "War on Poverty". Congress responded ​by passing the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 thereby creating the Office of Economic Opportunity to administer ​federal funds for use by states on anti-poverty fighting ​measures. The funds would be distributed to a network of ​Community Action Agencies (CAAs) - nonprofit private and ​public organizations established by the Economic ​Opportunity Act to fight America's War on Poverty.


There are approximately 1000 Community Action Agencies serving the poor in every state as well as Puerto Rico and the Trust Territories. First State CAA is proud to be a part of the Community Action Agency family and proud to be YOUR Community Action Agency. We have served Delaware for more than 50 years and will continue to serve the poor and disadvantaged as long as we are needed.

Our Board

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Bernice M. Edwards

Executive Director

Dr. Anne Farley, Ph.D.

Board President

The National Community Action Partnership

Read the White House Progress Report on the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty.