Social Solutions to Poverty:
America's Struggle to Build a Just Society
A book by Scott Myers-Lipton


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Solving Poverty


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War on Poverty: Community Action Program (CAP)




. . . The most controversial and radical idea that came out of the War on Poverty was the Community Action Program (CAP). This program, which was slipped into the War on Poverty legislation with very little discussion, was designed to engage the poor in solving poverty. The goal of the federal government was to encourage “maximum feasible participation” of the people living in impoverished communities. To accomplish this goal, the federal government, working through the OEO, directly subsidized local community groups to work on education, welfare, health, and housing issues. For the first time in the nation’s history, poor people were funded to organize their own communities to fight poverty. Just as labor was given a voice and influence through the New Deal’s Wagner Act, OEO hoped that CAP would empower the poor and thereby lead to poverty solutions and to a more democratic society as the poor became active citizens rather than passive recipients of aid.

Myers-Lipton, p. 216-217

  (Excerpted from “Social Solutions to Poverty” © Paradigm Publishers 2006)


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