April 30, 2021
2021 marks the 57th year since the Community Action Network was established to help American families and communities overcome obstacles to poverty. Over 1,000 agencies across the country are working every day to create opportunities and transform the lives of their neighbors, making communities stronger and helping families across the country thrive. This year, the RPC, a proud member of the Community Action Network, will also commemorate 37 years helping families throughout Champaign County and East Central Illinois.
“Each May during Community Action Month we reflect on the impact the RPC has had on families,” says Lisa Benson, the RPC’s Community Services director. “Last year alone, we served over 15,000 people throughout our service area, including 746 people who were provided with safe and affordable housing. Meanwhile, the Community Action Network helped 15 million people across the country with immediately needed services such as shelter and food, as well as long-term solutions like education and job placement.”
Community Action Agencies serve 99% of all American counties with life-changing services to help families achieve financial stability. Agencies like the RPC are locally controlled and represented by the private, public, and low-income sectors of the community. “We are proud of our community’s participation in the development and oversight of our programs,” Benson comments. “Their engagement helps us to be more effective in our approach by determining what Champaign County and East Central Illinois residents need.”
The RPC is a member of the National Community Action Partnership and the Community Action Network, which was born out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. In 1984, the Regional Planning Commission became the designated Community Action Agency for Champaign County. This designation enhanced the Commission’s ability to successfully secure additional federal and state funding for low-income, at-risk individuals. More information about the RPC’s impact in the community during 2020 can be found in our annual report (see below).