The Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, a nonpartisan forum for exchanging ideas, research, and data, recently published The Benefits of Access: Eliminating Siloed Programs for Low-Income Americans, a commentary co-written by Tim Warfield, Executive Director, and Mark Schmeissing, Senior Policy & Research Analyst. The article addresses the issues around funding cuts to low-income programs and siloed program approaches to addressing needs in communities throughout the country.
Community action agencies (CAAs) are a proven strategy to overcome the challenges of multiple, divided services. Every community in the country has a local CAA whose purpose is to end poverty by taking a comprehensive approach to helping each family and community. CAAs put low-income Americans on the path to self-sufficiency and economic security by addressing the unique needs of each community and coordinating services. In these challenging economic times service providers must focus on people not programs. While it’s tempting to become isolated and overly protective of individual program resources, working together and coordinating services is the most effective and efficient strategy to improve communities.