Community Action Partnership
Chesterfield-Marlboro Economic Opportunity Council

ABOUT CMEOC

 

The Origin of Community Action Agencies

President Lyndon Baines Johnson launched the War on Poverty with the signing of the Economic Opportunity Act on August 20, 1964. Community Action Agencies (CAA's) were developed as a result of this legislation. CAA's take a localized approach to planning and running programs to fight poverty and improve access to resources for all people.

Chesterfield-Marlboro Economic Opportunity Council was incorporated in 1965 by the State of South Carolina. Today Chesterfield-Marlboro Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. is one of fifteen (15) community action agencies located in the State of South Carolina. More than one thousand community action agencies exist through the United States. Nationally our services address areas of need such as education, employment, housing, transportation, as well as basic physical needs.

History of the CMEOC

Chesterfield-Marlboro EOC has faced and endured many challenges since the issurance of its Charter by the State of South Carolina on September 21, 1965. Chartered members were:

  • J.O. Taylor, Mt. Croghan, SC, Chairman;
  • Raleigh Walker, Bennettsvill, SC, 1st Vice-Chair;
  • Rev. Harry Wright, Bennettsville, SC, 2nd Vice-Chair;
  • Aurthur Brewer, Pageland, SC, Secretary/Treasurer;
  • Richard Brabham, Clio, SC;
  • Larrie Foster, Chesterfield, SC;
  • Florence McIntyre, Bennettsville, SC;
  • N.T. Robinson, Bennettsville, SC
  • and Odgen C. Sutton, Pageland, SC

Attorney John I. Rogers, the agency's legal counsel, helped to secure the 501©(3) in order for the agency to solicit funds. A joint letter from the legislative delegation from Chesterfield and Marlboro Counties, Sen. Edward M. Leppard and Sen. John C. Lindsay was sent to Sargent Shriver, OEO on Janary 10, 1966 recongnizing CMEOC as the agency in Chesterfield and Marlboro Counties to coordinate and administer programs under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

The agency recieved its first Program Development Grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity on March 17, 1966 to combat poverty in the bi-county area and to implement the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

In the exciting months following the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act many of the century old myths about poverty and what would happen when federal resources were expended were effectively destroyed. The myth that no southern official would voluntarily cooperate with programs serving poor people gave way to integrated programs throughout the south.

The poverty myth that public school officials would't work with parochial school officials to launch massive educational programs for the children of the poor was also challenged. In the opening months of the War on Poverty many cities had just that cooperation. The same myth said the poor were apathetic, inarticulate, incapable of formulating demands, desingning programs and assisting in and diagnosing their own need was also proven wrong. The poor were only waiting for the opportunity to be heard on a subject only they fully understood.

By 1965, President Lyndon Johnson's Office of Economic Opportunity trympeted the War on Poverty as "accomplishing great things for America", made local government "Stronger than Ever" and that the program was "actually saving money, not just spending it."

The rhetoric in Washington talked of a War on Poverty no longer going against the wind-but of going with the wind. A program that had created a means of bringing social changes, and not social upheaval. Clearly in 1965 there was a feeling that this war could be won. After all, "It's a peoples' war- waged by all the people, for the poorest of our people and in keeping with the traditional beliefs and generosity of all Americans."

Community Action Agencies are still here which proves our commitment, dedication, and hard work. We will remain dedicated to the task at hand-caring for the poor and downtrodden to assure them a chance and a place in society.

Our first grant was in the amount of $15,738.00 in 1966 and we had to write grants to survive. We have experienced a growth in revenue from %15,738.00 to in excess of $5 million dollars in 2005. This is not a bad track record- plus we have spun off 7 programs. The agency did 2 pilot projects-Add a Bath in Marlboro Coundy and a Rural Water project in the Cash community of Chesterfield County.

Poverty still looms great amoung us. Our mission remains the same; we had to change the way of accomplishing our mission. We now work directly with families through the case management process and partnering with other agencies.

From the beginning, Community Action Agencies were expected to act as laboratories for innovative methods of eliminating consequences and causes of poverty - We succeeded dramatically in this role.

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Chesterfield-Marlboro Economic Opportunity Council

ABOUT CMEOC

The Origin of Community Action Agencies

President Lyndon Baines Johnson launched the War on Poverty with the signing of the Economic Opportunity Act on August 20, 1964. Community Action Agencies (CAA's) were developed as a result of this legislation. CAA's take a localized approach to planning and running programs to fight poverty and improve access to resources for all people.

Chesterfield-Marlboro Economic Opportunity Council was incorporated in 1965 by the State of South Carolina. Today Chesterfield-Marlboro Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. is one of fifteen (15) community action agencies located in the State of South Carolina. More than one thousand community action agencies exist through the United States. Nationally our services address areas of need such as education, employment, housing, transportation, as well as basic physical needs.

History of the CMEOC

Chesterfield-Marlboro EOC has faced and endured many challenges since the issurance of its Charter by the State of South Carolina on September 21, 1965. Chartered members were:

  • J.O. Taylor, Mt. Croghan, SC, Chairman;
  • Raleigh Walker, Bennettsvill, SC, 1st Vice-Chair;
  • Rev. Harry Wright, Bennettsville, SC, 2nd Vice-Chair;
  • Aurthur Brewer, Pageland, SC, Secretary/Treasurer;
  • Richard Brabham, Clio, SC;
  • Larrie Foster, Chesterfield, SC;
  • Florence McIntyre, Bennettsville, SC;
  • N.T. Robinson, Bennettsville, SC
  • and Odgen C. Sutton, Pageland, SC

Attorney John I. Rogers, the agency's legal counsel, helped to secure the 501©(3) in order for the agency to solicit funds. A joint letter from the legislative delegation from Chesterfield and Marlboro Counties, Sen. Edward M. Leppard and Sen. John C. Lindsay was sent to Sargent Shriver, OEO on Janary 10, 1966 recongnizing CMEOC as the agency in Chesterfield and Marlboro Counties to coordinate and administer programs under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

The agency recieved its first Program Development Grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity on March 17, 1966 to combat poverty in the bi-county area and to implement the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

In the exciting months following the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act many of the century old myths about poverty and what would happen when federal resources were expended were effectively destroyed. The myth that no southern official would voluntarily cooperate with programs serving poor people gave way to integrated programs throughout the south.

The poverty myth that public school officials would't work with parochial school officials to launch massive educational programs for the children of the poor was also challenged. In the opening months of the War on Poverty many cities had just that cooperation. The same myth said the poor were apathetic, inarticulate, incapable of formulating demands, desingning programs and assisting in and diagnosing their own need was also proven wrong. The poor were only waiting for the opportunity to be heard on a subject only they fully understood.

By 1965, President Lyndon Johnson's Office of Economic Opportunity trympeted the War on Poverty as "accomplishing great things for America", made local government "Stronger than Ever" and that the program was "actually saving money, not just spending it."

The rhetoric in Washington talked of a War on Poverty no longer going against the wind-but of going with the wind. A program that had created a means of bringing social changes, and not social upheaval. Clearly in 1965 there was a feeling that this war could be won. After all, "It's a peoples' war- waged by all the people, for the poorest of our people and in keeping with the traditional beliefs and generosity of all Americans."

Community Action Agencies are still here which proves our commitment, dedication, and hard work. We will remain dedicated to the task at hand-caring for the poor and downtrodden to assure them a chance and a place in society.

Our first grant was in the amount of $15,738.00 in 1966 and we had to write grants to survive. We have experienced a growth in revenue from %15,738.00 to in excess of $5 million dollars in 2005. This is not a bad track record- plus we have spun off 7 programs. The agency did 2 pilot projects-Add a Bath in Marlboro Coundy and a Rural Water project in the Cash community of Chesterfield County.

Poverty still looms great amoung us. Our mission remains the same; we had to change the way of accomplishing our mission. We now work directly with families through the case management process and partnering with other agencies.

From the beginning, Community Action Agencies were expected to act as laboratories for innovative methods of eliminating consequences and causes of poverty - We succeeded dramatically in this role.



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