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.

History of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program

In response to President Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of War on Poverty in 1964, community leaders, local officials and other government representatives from the five Eastern Kentucky counties of Johnson, Lawrence, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike formed an economic development group whose goal was to help poverty stricken families in their communities. The newly-formed, non-profit alliance was named the Big Sandy Area Development Council, which subsequently evolved into the Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, Inc. (BSACAP), and was incorporated in September 1965. Over the next five years, the agency saw a number of changes, including the adoption of statewide planning districts. As a result, by 1970, the five counties constituting BSACAP included Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike.

Throughout the past 53 years, BSACAP has partnered with various community, state, and federal organizations to provide much-needed services to the region’s economically disadvantaged families by aggressively pioneering some of the nation’s most innovative public service programs, including home repair and senior citizen employment programs. In 1965, the agency administered Kentucky’s second largest Head Start program, followed by job training and educational programs for both youth and adults. Today, BSACAP operates 17 programs encompassing a wide range of services aimed mainly at helping the needy to become self-sufficient, including housing, employment and training, and energy assistance, with nearly 100 staff and field offices in all five counties.

As a member of Community Action Kentucky, BSACAP and the state’s 22 other community action agencies have a united voice on both the state and national levels to represent their interests.