Founded in 1965, Capstone is part of a nationwide network of community action agencies (CAA) established by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 in order to fight America’s War on Poverty. Today, there are nearly 1,000 CAAs across the United States located in 98% of our cities and counties. CAAs are a primary source of support for the more than 40 million Americans who are living in poverty in both rural and urban areas.
Over the years, Capstone has earned a reputation for leadership in education on poverty issues, advocacy on behalf of low-income families, and developing innovative strategies and programs to reduce poverty.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and Community Development Corporation, we provide a diversity of programs and services for low to moderate income Vermonters aimed at reducing poverty and creating prosperity. We focus our work on the basic tenets of outreach, empowerment, advocacy and organizing.
Outreach: providing information, education, support services, and referrals to assist those individuals in greatest need access critical resources.
Empowerment: working with individuals to develop their skills and abilities so that they can speak and act on their own behalf and take control of their economic futures.
Advocacy: promoting programs and policies that provide opportunities for self-reliance and promote equal opportunity for all members of our communities.
Organizing: working with individuals and groups and agencies to identify common problems, establish goals, and take appropriate actions to address important social and community issues.
The core source of funding for CAAs comes from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) which channels federal funds through the states to local agencies to fight poverty and promote self-sufficiency. Nationally, CSBG funding accounts for less than 10 percent of CAA funding. We use these federal dollars to build and attract additional investments in their programs from state, local, and private sources. In fact, Capstone is successful in leveraging an average of $20 for every $1 of CSBG funding.