Community Action, Inc. of Central Texas (CAI) is a community based not for profit organization that has been in continuous operation since 1965 when it was established as part of this nation’s War On Poverty led by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
CAI operated its first Head Start program (one of the first in the nation) in the community of Kyle in Hays County in the summer of that year. Since that time it has grown into a large integrated health, education, and human services agency that provides a multitude of services across ten counties in the rural capital area of Texas. It now operates 14 Head Start and Early Head Start centers in Hays and Caldwell counties.
In 1968, CAI began providing reproductive health services to low income women in Hays County. By 1974, it was providing these services to low income women in eight counties in the rural capital area. In 1986, CAI added Primary Health Care Services in Hays, Caldwell, Blanco and Bastrop Counties and a Prescription Assistance Program for uninsured residents of Hays County. In 1988, CAI became the major HIV/AIDS service provider in the rural capital area offering education, testing, counseling, and intensive case management to HIV positive individuals. CAI has been the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program provider in six rural capital area counties since 1992. Currently CAI Operates two health clinics in Hays and Caldwell Counties that serve clients from the surrounding counties. CAI is the primary medical home for hundreds of low income women in the rural capital area. CAI has operated programs for low income senior citizens in San Marcos and Blanco and provided emergency services to families in crisis in Hays, Caldwell, and Blanco counties for over twenty years.
In 2000, CAI became the major provider of adult literacy education, GED preparation, and English as a second language education in the rural capital area. It currently operates 19 education programs for educationally disadvantaged adults in ten rural capital area counties. In 2002, CAI was one of only thirty entities in the entire country to receive an Early Reading First grant award from the United States Department of Education.
Community Action is governed by a fifteen member volunteer Board of Directors. Five members are publicly elected officials or their designees. Five are representatives of low income communities, and five represent the private sector. Today CAI employs 247 individuals and has an operating budget of over eleven million dollars. The agency has four areas of operation: Health Services; Early Childhood Education; Adult Literacy Education; and Community Services. Each area has a leadership team that is responsible for the achievement of specific outcomes detailed in the Agency’s strategic plan. Community Action employees mobilize resources and engage communities in order to move families out of poverty and to help their children succeed in school .