Program Description

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) is a federally funded investment and a national commitment to respond to the problems and conditions that cause poverty. Administered at the State and territory level, CSBG funding was created through the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to promote and provide an array of services and activities to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower low-income families and individuals to become self-sufficient. Each year, a network of designated eligible entities, referred to as Community Action Agencies (CAAs), receive CSBG funds to plan, coordinate and implement a wide range of social service programs such as housing assistance, child care, youth and family development, teen pregnancy prevention, elderly services, educational programs, emergency service, income management, employment training, energy assistance, domestic violence prevention, health services, rural transportation, small business development, and nutrition assistance.

How it Works:

CSBG provides core funding for twenty four (24) designated CAAs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. CAAs are private nonprofit entities governed by a tripartite board representing appointed leaders from the private sector, elected public officials, and representatives from the  low-income community who reside in the designated service area. These CAAs provide a variety of community-based services, programs, and activities that promote self-sufficiency for low-income families and individuals residing in the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns.

Services and activities provided by CAAs include, but are not limited to:

affordable housing and homeownership opportunities;
assistance to homeless and "at-risk" families and individuals;
child development programs, including Early Head Start, Head Start and center-based day care;
domestic violence prevention, counseling and emergency assistance;
volunteer opportunities for all including youth,
families, and elders;
information and referral;
education and literacy programs;
emergency assistance such as: temporary shelter, hunger prevention, medical assistance, clothing, conflict resolution, etc.;
employment and job skills training;
food and nutrition assistance;
fuel and energy assistance;
transportation assistance;
health care; and,
youth development

Who Is Eligible:

Only a duly designated CAA in Massachusetts is eligible to receive CSBG funding.

Application Process:

Annual application process is restricted to designated CAAs.

For More Information:

Please contact DHCD's Division of Community Services at 617-573-1400.