Central Missouri Community Action is part of a national network of Community Action agencies founded in 1964. Our network is dedicated to eradicating the causes and conditions of poverty.Since its creation, CMCA has seen the number of services it provides grow in size and scope. In 1967, CMCA’s budget was just over $1 Million; by 2002 the budget was $9.4 million. CMCA’s first funding was for a ground level outreach program that recruited people indigenous to Boone County with low incomes to work for CMCA and administer programs to others with low incomes. By 1968, CMCA had 4 funded programs and CMCA had established itself as a leader in helping people rise up out of poverty. Today, CMCA offers such services as Weatherization, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), Section 8 Assistance, Low income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP), Head Start, Early Head Start, Employment and Training, Foster Grandparents, Housing Development activities, and Family Support.
The Head Start program has been with CMCA nearly from the beginning; it was the third program to receive funding and is now the largest single program offered by CMCA. For more than four decades, Head Start has provided high quality comprehensive child development services for youth by seeing that their medical, nutritional, emotional and social needs have been met. During Head Start’s first year of service, it was operated solely during the summer. Because of the immense progress children displayed while in Head Start, it was expanded to run for the duration of the school year and is now operated year round. Due in part to the success of Head Start, in 2000, CMCA saw the addition of a related program, Early Head Start. This program provides prenatal assistance and care and works to ensure the healthy development of children 0-3 years of age.