May is National Community Action Month and in recognition, on May 11th, Governor John Lynch delivered a proclamation declaring May as COMMUNITY ACTION MONTH in New Hampshire to honor the continued contributions of New Hampshire’s Community Action Agencies ( CAAs) to those in need. Governor Lynch was joined by 5 Governor’s Councilors as the event took place during a regularly scheduled Governor and Council meeting.
Along with the reading of the Proclamation, a mother of a child enrolled in Head Start from Strafford County spoke about what
Community Action has done for her and her family. Representatives from all 6 New Hampshire Community Action Agencies were on hand to participate in the day’s events.
Southern New Hampshire Services is one of over 1000 Community Action Agencies throughout the country. Founded in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, CAAs have been helping people on the road to self-sufficiency for over 45 years.
Much has changed since 1965, but two important facts have remained since the first days of SNHS. The first is that many families in Hillsborough County depend on public assistance of some sort just to get by. The second is that the staff of SNHS is deeply committed to helping those families overcome their circumstances and achieve self-sufficiency. From a staff of a few people with a planning and development grant of $11,600 to get off a fledgling organization off the ground, SNHS has grown to be an integral component of the social “safety net,” employing more than 400 people, managing more than $40,000,000 annually in public and private funding, and administering 54 programs county-wide which assist low-income families and individuals.
The current economic environment presents numerous challenges. This is nothing new for Community Action, which has been tackling such challenges for more than 45 years. As SNHS assists more than 37,000 individuals in 14,500 households each year on the path to self sufficiency, the management and staff of SNHS remain dedicated to serving the most vulnerable in our society, and in the words of the Promise of Community Action, “helping people help themselves and each other.”
For more information on National Community Action Month and Community Action Agencies, visit www.communityactionpartnership.com