The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.
As a result of that legislation, the Indiana County Community Action Program (ICCAP) was organized in 1965 as a private, non-profit corporation. For over 56 years, ICCAP has demonstrated a sustained commitment to mobilizing the necessary resources needed to empower families and individuals towards self-sufficiency. Whether it is organizing food banks, providing emergency or transitional housing for individuals without shelter, or furnishing case management services and transportation, ICCAP continues to deploy a panoply of services to those of us unfortunate enough to be economically disenfranchised from the broader community, largely through no fault of our own.
Despite the earnest effort over these last 56 years, the need for such services continues to grow. The “war on poverty” here in Indiana County cannot yet claim victory. Our work is not done. The strategic plan herein presented builds on the accomplishments of the 2019-2024 plan, renews and strengthens efforts to address needs still unmet, and allocates resources to new, emerging priorities.
Low Income Sector Representatives
- Tom Smith – Southwest Area
- Jessica Dinger – Indiana County Head Start
- Terry Stiffler – Northeast Area
- Bob Watta – White Township/Indiana
- Samual Kerr – Southeast Area
- Raymond Irwin – Northwest Area
- Barbara Croce – Indiana Boro
Public Sector Representatives
- Sherene Hess – County Commissioner
- Arlene Wanatosky – Homer City Mayor
- John Frank – IUP
- Robin Gorman – County Commissioner
- Janine Maust – Aging Services
- R. Michael Keith – County Commissioner
- James Struzzi – State Representative
Private Sector Representatives
- Mike Donnelly – Gazette Printers
- Brad Holuta – Marcus & Mack Personal Injury Law
- Chuck Spadafora – Colonial Motor Mart
- Cheryl McCabe – Comcast
- Stephanie Kline – S&T Bank
- Chad Martin – First Commonwealth Bank
- Dave Reed – First Commonwealth Bank
ICCAP is able to provide its services to the Indiana County community through its various partnerships with other non-profit agencies, government agencies, businesses, and faith based organizations. Similarly ICCAP collaborates with multiple consortiums, pre and post secondary education institutions, health service agencies, and financial institutions.