HCAP History

Honolulu Community Action Program, Inc. is a nonprofit human service agency delivering need-based services to the island of Oʻahu since 1965.

On January 8, 1964, in his message to Congress, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared an unconditional War on Poverty in America. In August 1964, Congress passed the Economic Opportunity Act, creating a federal Office of Economic Opportunity.

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) were created at the local level to help fight the War on Poverty. In 1965, Honolulu Community Action Program, Inc. (HCAP) came into existence as a CAA. HCAP was subsequently designated by local elected officials as the CAA for Oahu.

The mission of community action was to stimulate a better focus of all available local, state, private, and Federal resources, with the goal of enabling low-income families and low-income individuals of all ages in rural and urban areas to attain the skills, knowledge, motivation, and secure opportunities needed for them to become self-sufficient.

The Economic Opportunity Act was terminated and replaced with the Community Service Act of 1974. While the name of the legislation changed, the mission and purpose of the funding remained unchanged.

In 1981, the Community Service Act was replaced by the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG). This changed the regulatory and funding basis of CAAs as it changed the relationship between local agencies and state offices, who were now installed as intermediaries for funding. However, it did not change the mission and purpose.

To this day, HCAP continues to provide a wide range of services to alleviate the conditions of poverty, assist in revitalizing low-income communities, and empower low-income individuals and families to become self-sufficient.