History

Charlotte Area Fund, Inc. (CAF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established Since 1963. “to do such things as are necessary or desirable for advancing the general welfare of the people in the area of Charlotte, North Carolina, or for educational, scientific or charitable purposes in such area”.

The agency pre-dates the Office of Economic Opportunity and is one of the first five agencies funded by the North Carolina Fund in 1963.

With the enactment of the Economic Opportunity Act in 1964 that was to implement equal opportunity for all in the economic sector, new entities at the local level called Community Action Agencies (CAAs) were created to fight the local War on Poverty. CAF was designated as the Community Action Agency for Mecklenburg County.

The basic purposes to which CAAs are dedicated are as follows:

  • To aid the poor in their ability to influence social decision-making processes.
  • To expand the participation of the disadvantaged, or their representatives, in anti-poverty efforts.
  • To promote changes in the method of providing local services so that they are more conducive to target area conditions.
  • To mobilize the community resources — in terms of dollars and in-kind matching contributions — behind anti-poverty efforts.
  • To provide professional expertise and service to anti-poverty efforts where such expertise and/or service is needed and is not commonly available in the community.
  • To coordinate the anti-poverty efforts of private and public agencies currently providing services to target area residents.

Since its inception over 52 years ago, some of the initiatives developed and programs operated by CAF include Food Stamp Outreach, Community Organization/Leadership Training, Outreach and Referral, Community Development, Summer Youth Recreation, Manpower Training Program, Summer Garden & Canning Project, Head Start, Credit Union, Youth Programs, Consumer Education/Counseling, Senior Citizens Program, Feeding and Nutrition, Energy Conservation (Weatherization), Fuel Assistance, Day Care Program, Legal Services and Food Bank.