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Joining Together: Ending Poverty Now - Raising Awareness, Providing Opportunity, Inspiring Action
A Symposium Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Passage of the Economic Opportunity Act
Presented by the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP)
Featuring a Major Report on Poverty and Inequality in Massachusetts written by the Mass Budget and Policy Center, Commissioned by MASSCAP and funded by the Boston Foundation. View the report. (PDF) Watch Joe Diamond, MASSCAP Executive Director, talk with Karen Holmes Ward, host of WCVB Channel 5's CityLine about the Symposium and the Report. And the office of Mayor Walsh produced a video of the first half of the Symposium including the welcome by the Mayor and remarks by Senator Stan Rosenberg.
The report From Poverty to Opportunity: The Challenge of Building a Great Society was researched and written by the Mass Budget and Policy Center, and underwritten by the Boston Foundation
A Symposium Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Passage of the Economic Opportunity Act Presented by the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP)
Held on Monday, November 10, 2014 at the JFK Library, Columbia Point, Boston
Community Action Agencies across the country and in Massachusetts celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty and the creation of the community action network. We take this occasion to recognize how far we have come, to build on the past, and to address the challenges that lie ahead.
Excerpts from President Johnson's message to Congress conveying his Great Society program are below. View his entire message and read an article in the New York Times that assesses the successes of the War on Poverty.
Proposal for A Nationwide War On The Sources of Poverty - Lyndon B. Johnson's Special Message to Congress
March 16, 1964
Because it is right, because it is wise, and because, for the first time in our history, it is possible to conquer poverty, I submit, for the consideration of the Congress and the country, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964...through a new Community Action program we intend to strike at poverty at its source - in the streets of our cities and on the farms of our countryside among the very young and the impoverished old...
MASSCAP Advisory Brief - Supporting an Increase in the Salary Rate Reserve for Early Education and Care
The Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) is supporting the Massachusetts Senate appropriation to the state budget line item 1599-0042, the Early Education and Care Salary Rate Reserve, at $9,710,356. Below are the five major reasons that MASSCAP supports this proposal and is asking the Massachusetts House and Senate legislators on the conference committee to do the same: Read full story»
A How To Guide For CAAs on Service Integration »
Community Action in the news:
MASSCAP ED Joe Diamond Weighs in On Proposed Food Stamp Cuts:
“We’re slicing and dicing the social safety net,” said Joe Diamond, executive director of the Massachusetts Association for Community Action, which aims to help low-income residents. “We all understand the need to be within our fiscal limitations. But to cut this critical resource to the most vulnerable in society in a way that would hurt them shows that something is out of balance.”
Read the full story»
In the News
Attorney General joins with MASSCAP and legal partners to address foreclosure crisis
MASSCAP and its members are partnering with the Attorney General to implement a first in the nation distressed homeowner assistance program launched by the AGO in April: HomeCorps. HomeCorps is helping those faced with foreclosure seek loan modification or, if necessary, stable affordable rental housing as well as access other benefits they may be eligible to receive. The initiative is funded by resources from a nationwide settlement reached by 49 states and the federal government with 5 major banks.
Starting in September, 17 CAAs and two local partners serving all cities and towns in the Commonwealth will help households facing a foreclosure or, after foreclosure, to stabilize their lives through services and through access to rental housing. If you are facing foreclosure, please call the Attorney General's HomeCorps Hotline at 617-573-5333.
For more information please visit www.mass.gov/ago/homecorps.
Do you need help filing your taxes?
Working people could access up to $6500 by visiting a Volunteer Tax Assistance (VITA) and accessing the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is a free service provided by volunteer tax preparers certified by the IRS.
Community action agencies offer free tax preparation from January through April of each year.
View a list of Community Action VITA sites.
MASSCAP supports and chairs the Massachusetts Alliance of EITC Coalitions. To join our roundtables, listserv, and training sessions, please contact Joe Diamond at email@example.com or 617-357-6086.
Get Help with Home Heating
Fuel Assistance helps people with low incomes keep warm in the winter. Fuel Assistance can help pay a portion of the cost of heating your home.
If your heat is included in your rent, Fuel Assistance may be able to pay a portion of your rent.
Find the Fuel Assistance agency for your town »
If your family size and income are less than the amount below, you may be eligible for Fuel Assistance.
||Call for amount
Go to full News listing >>
Please consider donating to MASSCAP.
Your donation will help us continue to fight poverty and create opportunity.
Links to Other Web Resources
This site has links to many other resources on the Web, especially to sites of other organizationsin Massachusetts and across the nation working on issues of concerns to MASSCAP. See Outside Links >>
Financial Education Toolkit training now online
MASSCAP is pleased to announced the online version of the Financial
Education Toolkit - a resource which enables staff and case managers to
provide the right financial education information at the right time to their
clients in the context of the case management or service relationship.
You can view a 22-minute overview of the toolkit and the training on the toolkit. The complete online course to learn how to use the toolkit can be found at fle.masscap.org . The online course is a joint project of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and MASSCAP and builds on an earlier version of the toolkit developed with the Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Heller School, Brandeis University with resources from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
Access the Financial Education Toolkit Training»
The MASSCAP Weatherization Report. The place for news, information, and resources concerning the Weatherization Assistance Program throughout Massachusetts. Go to website. >>
National WAP News: Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi congratulates CAAs on successful implementation of the Weatherization Assistance Program. See the video and blog at whitehouse.gov or visit the NCAF website.
Asset Development Information: For information on MASSCAP asset development activities, click here.
Recovery/Reinvestment Funding at the Local Level
Community Action Agencies are bringing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resources to local communities and vulnerable individuals and families across the state. As described on the federal Recovery.gov website, the Act "is an unprecedented effort to jumpstart our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century." Read more about the Act >>
MASSCAP is a proud Communities Count partner.
Massachusetts CAAs in Action
What do Massachusetts community action agencies do?
Over the past year, Massachusetts community action agencies:
- 3,053 Individuals obtained employment
- 8,039 obtained pre-employment skills/competencies
- 565 completed ABE/GED classes and obtained a diploma or certificate
- 24,597 obtained child care
- 66,761 familes (estimated) received emergency food assistance
- Over 180,000 households received fuel assistance
- 18,143 households in tax preparation programs identified a federal and/or state tax credit bringing over $30 million to taxpayers in Massachusetts
- 162 households opened an individual development (IDA) account
- 8,476 children completed pre-school and were developmentally ready to enter kindergarten of 1st grade
- 8,500 children were served in CAA-run Head Start programs
Find out more >> (PDF)