Tri-CAP achieves 50 years of service

To the editor: 

As Community Action Turns 50, Tri-County Action Program, Inc. (Tri-CAP), I would like to reflect on service to the residents of Stearns, Benton and Sherburne Counties.

On Aug. 20, 1964, in Washington, D.C., President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA). The EOA created a variety of programs — including community action agencies — as part of his War on Poverty. Tri-CAP was one of those agencies established to address local poverty problems in rural, urban, and suburban communities across the country.

Tri-CAP started Jan. 12, 1965, as the first non-metro Community Action Agency in Minnesota. The agency’s creation was due to efforts of then St. Cloud Mayor Ed Henry, who called together a group that included representation from all three counties.

The agency started with no staff and a $10,000 budget to “research problems relevant to the anti-poverty program.” The agency then grew as programs and services developed. The first year of operation, the organization had total revenues of $16,480.

Forty-nine years later, Tri-CAP provides over 20 different essential services all geared toward helping people and changing lives. The agency’s most recent fiscal audit showed total revenues of $5,826,069 directly serving over 22,000 people in Central Minnesota.

Our staff prides themselves on providing exceptional customer service through a professional and kind approach as people build their skills and work towards economic and social stability.

The unrelenting duties of volunteers who served the agency over the past year are invaluable. The commitment of the board of directors and the community have kept us on the path toward maintaining family stability, while endeavoring daily to assure that all of our practices are transparent and sound.

Community Action changes lives every day, one person at a time. Thank you Central Minnesota for supporting our endeavors now and into the future.

Lori Schultz
Tri-County Action Program
St. Cloud