Community Services


In 1984, the Regional Planning Commission became the designated Community Action Agency for Champaign County. The past 33 years of service to the low-income residents of our community have touched the lives of thousands of individuals and families, ultimately empowering them toward attaining an improved quality of life. Looking to the past, the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission can lay claim to improving our community by being a leading voice in advocating for those in poverty. The past has provided a solid foundation to continue our community action work—improving the lives of people in poverty.

poeple holding hands

Future Goals

As we look to the future, we will be striving for new opportunities to expand and impact our community beyond the current measures of success. As we explore these opportunities, our work may take shape in new and exciting ways, beyond what has been the norm in terms of our service area and approach to programming. We intend to approach the future of Community Action with innovative practices and solutions that will enable us to better reduce poverty, address family and community needs, and support sustainability for future growth.

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”


-Franklin D. Roosevelt


As the designated Community Action Agency for Champaign County, our mission is:

To empower individuals, strengthen families, and build communities through advancing self-sufficiency.

Commitment to Services

After the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963, President Johnson pledged to fulfill his promise of equal opportunity through efforts to build what would be called The Great Society. In his first State of Union address, Johnson called for “an unconditional War on Poverty.” In August, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was passed and Community Action Agencies and the Head Start Program were established. These programs, designed to address poverty and assist Americans toward economic security, followed a model of local coordination and community participation to ensure that those affected by poverty would be empowered to own a stake in their communities and have place at the table in addressing their own needs.

In operation since 1984, our Community Action Agency provides comprehensive services that address the many factors that affect an individual’s ability to rise out of poverty, including housing, employment, food insecurity, health and education. Our services are designed to provide holistic support to program participants, addressing the needs of the whole family through a multi-faceted approach to self-sufficiency programming. To ensure that clients find the path to economic security comprehensive case management is at the root of all of our programs, which include Housing, Weatherization, Workforce Development, Youth Services, No Limits, Senior Services, and Independent Service Coordination. We collaborate with the surrounding community and partnering agencies in all sectors to create effective long-term solutions for those most in need of assistance.

FutureOur Community Action Agency is committed to continuous program evaluation and improvement. We conduct a Community Assessment to identify community needs and the status of services in the community. We continue to pursue the following key results:

  • 90% of our clients will enhance their health and well-being
  • 95% of our Head Start children will be developmentally prepared for future school success
  • 80% of our clients will make gains in self-sufficiency
  • 95% of our clients, staff, and partners believe our agency is a valuable asset to the community.


Curious to learn more about our Early Childhood Education Division? Have questions about our programs or initiatives? You'll find answers to these and more on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. This page is your go-to resource for insights into our department's work. To explore our FAQs, simply click here or visit the 'FAQs' section in the sidebar.


Have a question or need to get in touch with us? We're here to assist you. For the quickest and most efficient way to reach out, we recommend using our Citizen Request Center. It's designed to streamline the process of addressing your inquiries. Simply click the Citizen Request Center link and when filling out the form, be sure to select 'Community Services' from the 'Department' drop-down menu. Our team will promptly attend to your request and provide the assistance you need.


RPC Program Manager Wins Award from University of Illinois

Lena Hoch, a Program Manager II in the RPC's Community Services Division, received the inaugural Odyssey Project Partner of the Year Award from the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois. Lena was recognized at a community breakfast on May 18. The Odyssey Project offers free University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign courses in the humanities to low-income adults in East Central Illinois. Lena has been a staunch supporter of The Odyssey Project and works with her clients to direct them to this educational opportunity.

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