Douglas-Cherokee Economic Authority, Inc. is a Community Action Agency serving six (6) rural Appalachian counties in East Tennessee-Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Monroe and Sevier. The purpose of the agency is to help families living in poverty improve their lives by providing them with assistance and services that they are not able to provide for themselves. The focus of the agency is to help people help themselves.
DCEA was organized in 1965 as a non-profit corporation. The activities of DCEA are governed by a 27 member Board of Directors who represent all segments of the population living in each of the six counties. DCEA is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and operates mainly under funds received from the Tennessee Department of Human Services, using federal, state, and local funds to provide special services.
In addition to the programmatic advice of the governing body, input is sought from the client population and the general public through community meeting, formalized questionaires and informal comment of specific program activities as well as projects in the planing stages.
All agency projects coordinate activities with other local agencies and organizations having contact with potential clients to maximize the mobilization of resources and reduce duplications in services.
The promise of Community Action. . . Community Action changes people's lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.
Community Action Agencies are private non-profit or public organizations that were created by the federal government in 1964 to combat poverty in geographically designated areas. Status as a Community Action Agency is the result of an explicit designation by local or state government. A Community Action Agency has a tripartite board structure that is designated to promote the participation of the entire community in the reduction or elimination of poverty. Community Action Agencies seek to involve the community including elected public officials, private sector representatives and especially low-income residents, in assessing local needs and attacking the causes and conditions of poverty.
In order to reduce poverty in its community, a Community Action Agency works to better focus available local, state, private, and federal resources to assist low-income individuals and families to acquire useful skills and knowledge, gain access to new opportunities and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
A Community Action Agency:
A Community Action Agency carries out its mission through a variety of means including: (a) community-wide assessments of needs and strengths, (b) comprehensive antipoverty plans and strategies, (c) provision of a broad range of direct services, (d) mobilization of financial and non-financial resources, (e) advocacy on behalf of low-income people and (f) partnerships with other community-based organizations to eliminate poverty. A Community Action Agency involves the low-income population it serves in the planning, administering and evaluating of its programs.
Most poverty-related organizations focus on a specific area of need, such as job training, health care, housing, or economic development. Community Action Agencies reach out to low-income people in their communities, address their multiple needs through a comprehensive approach, develop partnerships with other community organizations, involve low-income clients in the agency's operations, and administer a full range of coordinated programs designed to have a measurable impact on poverty.
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCIES 2000
Back to DCEA