May 1, 2022
It has now been 58 years 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, also commemorates 38 years helping families throughout Champaign County.
“Each May during Community Action Month we reflect on the impact the RPC has had on individuals, families, and the community as a whole,” says Lisa Benson, the RPC’s Community Services director. “Last year alone, we served nearly 12,000 people throughout our service area, including supporting over 6,000 households to maintain housing and/or utilities. 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 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 2021 can be found in this look at some of the year’s biggest highlights for the agency.