In the late 1950’s several studies were conducted on the causes of poverty, urban decay and juvenile delinquency. These came to the attention of then Senator John Kennedy. When he became President, JFK began to develop a Federal attack on poverty by enlisting his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver to develop a strategy to end poverty. Exciting programs were being developed at this time such as the Peace Corps and Head Start.
In 1964, President Johnson continued Kennedy’s work and declared a “War on Poverty” by creating the Economic Opportunity Act. This act created Community Action Agencies who were charged with a mission to mobilize all resources toward the elimination of poverty and to provide maximum feasible participation of the poor in program decisions that affected them.