The Community Action movement began in 1964 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty Program. Today, there are over 1,000 Community Action Agencies nationwide providing a variety of targeted, community-oriented services and solutions for low-income Americans.
Community Action Project of Tulsa County (CAP Tulsa) began under the name “Project Get Together” in 1973 and was funded with a federal grant through the Office of Economic Opportunity to address the problems faced by low-income people living in the southern portion of Tulsa County. During those early years, much casework was done with migrant farm workers and with tenants in apartment complexes. Project Get Together assisted in the formation of community organizations to provide a collective position from which people disenfranchised by poverty might work toward positive change, helped devise several summer recreation programs, opened a daycare facility for the children of migrant workers, and worked with a local church to run a transportation program for senior citizens.
Over the years, Project Get Together expanded its programs and services in response to client needs to become a comprehensive anti-poverty agency, and began receiving provisionary funding from the United Way in 1997.
In the fall of 1997, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) decertified the Tulsa Community Action Agency (TCAA) as the county’s community action agency, and TCAA’s Board of Directors voted to shut the organization down entirely. Shortly thereafter, a broad coalition of people and groups united to establish a new non-profit organization – Community Action Program of Tulsa County – which ODOC designated as the county’s new community action agency.
Project Get Together and the newly formed Community Action Program shared virtually identical mission statements – helping people achieve economic self-sufficiency. While the two organizations had independent, non-overlapping boards of directors, both boards were concerned about how to best serve the needs of the county’s poor residents, avoid unnecessary duplication of services, and minimize administrative costs. Consequently, the boards of the two agencies soon thereafter began discussing the possibility of a consolidation. Those discussions culminated with both boards voting unanimously in February 1998 to unite their efforts using the new name “Community Action Project of Tulsa County.”
Also in 1998, the Tulsa Children’s Coalition became a part of CAP. This consolidation has strengthened our efforts to provide low-income families access to quality, affordable early childhood education.
CAP formally became a member agency of the United Way in 2000.
In late 2005, CAP completed a lengthy strategic planning process in which the agency adopted a major shift in its anti-poverty approach, concluding that the best approach for improving the long-term economic prospects for low-income children was through an “integrated service delivery” model. The idea was to serve a specific set of clients through combined efforts with our partners.
In 2010, the agency adopted its 10 core values.
In 2012, CAP implemented a new strategic plan (link to PDF of plan) through 2015 for the purpose of evaluating how programs and services are performing and what outcomes they are producing. A new logo was developed with the tagline “Helping Families Succeed.” The tagline reflects the agency’s brand promise that every family and every child deserves the same opportunity for success.