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In 1963, President Kennedy asked his economic advisors to draw up some proposals to address the problem of American poverty. Shortly after having his advisors draw up proposals, President Kennedy was assassinated. Lyndon Johnson took up this charge after he succeeded Kennedy as president. In Johnson’s first state of the union address on June 8, 1964, he called for an unconditional war to defeat poverty.

In 1964, The Great Society, as envisioned by President Lyndon Johnson, was a sweeping plan to improve the lives of all Americans regardless of their circumstances. Johnson pledged to fulfill Kennedy’s promise of equal opportunity for all by enacting several comprehensive changes within the federal government. In August of that same year, the Economic Opportunity Act was signed into law by President Johnson, creating the nationwide community action network.

The act included a variety of initiatives:

  • Headstart

  • Job Corps

  • Work Study Programs for university students

  • VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)

  • Neighborhood Youth Corps

  • Basic Education and Adult Job Training

  • CAPs (Community Action Programs) turned out to be the most controversial part of the package; they proposed the “maximum feasible participation” by poor people themselves to determine what would help them the most. CAPs were a radical departure from how government had run most social reform programs in the past.


Mountain CAP participates in a multitude of local, regional and state boards, advisory committees, organizations, and task forces.  Each of these groups focus on making the lives of West Virginians “better”.

Over 55 years of experience combined with the different funding agencies for our multitude of programs, have given our employees an extensive background with local and federal regulations, licensing and registration requirements, health and safety standards, and nutritional standards.

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