HCHRA Celebrates 60 Years of Community Action

May is Community Action Month and this year marks the 60th anniversary of the Community Action Network. Join Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA) as we honor the past, present and future of this milestone all month long.

For over sixty years, the Community Action Network has been a beacon of hope, providing support and resources to individuals seeking to improve their lives and communities across the United States. By partnering with Community Action Agencies at the local, state, and national levels, leaders can promote effective solutions that create family opportunities, ultimately leading to a higher quality of life for all Americans.

Through this collaborative effort, the Community Action Network continues to make a significant impact in empowering individuals and transforming communities for the better.

The Economic Opportunity Act (P.L. 88-452) was signed on August 20, 1964, marking a new movement’s beginning. Over time, in almost every county in America, people from rural, urban, suburban, and remote areas came together to establish a Community Action organization. For almost 60 years, local people have supported their local CAA. Today, around 1,000 agencies are responsible for addressing the causes and conditions of poverty that hold people and places back. Community Action is unique because it has a national network of CAAs with a standard set of core principles and precepts rooted in the governing legislation and the history and knowledge developed over six decades. America’s CAAs connect millions of individuals and families with more significant opportunities, transforming their lives and strengthening their communities and the nation.

The genesis of the Community Services Association in Hinds County can be traced back to the summer of 1967. Although its operations temporarily ceased in 1975, the organization was re-established in 1976 under a new name – the Hinds County Human Resource Agency (HCHRA). The association’s mission was considered crucial; hence, its revival was necessary.

The agency aimed to comprehensively support Hinds County residents, addressing the community’s various social and economic issues. HCHRA has been a constant source of aid and welfare for the Hinds County community, actively working to improve the quality of life and promote prosperity for the residents. Therefore, re-establishing the agency is seen as a vital step towards uplifting the community and positively impacting the lives of the people it serves. The non-profit organization commenced operations in 1977, backed by the Hinds County Board of Supervisors. The City of Jackson also contributed resources and space to facilitate the agency’s operations.

HCHRA continues to be a pillar of service to Hinds County assisting thousands of residents daily with Head Start and Early Head Start, Career and Training Support, Transportation Services, home-delivered and congregate meals for the elderly, and low-income energy assistance.

Applications are now open for enrollment at HCHRA Project Head Start for the 2024-2025 academic year. To learn more about Head Start, click here or call 601-923-3950.