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The mission of Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency is to empower low-income people and strengthen communities through diverse services, leadership and collaboration.
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (Wayne Metro) has been providing services to low and moderate income individuals and families since 1971. Since then, Wayne Metro has established a system of diversified programming and funding knowing that Wayne County residents need a source of reliable community support to help them succeed and thrive. Since 1994, the agency's budget has grown from $100,000 to over $20 million while maintaining a low-administrative rate (6%) that allows $.94 of every dollar to be utilized for direct client services.
Today, Wayne Metro operates more than 50 programs with over 300 employees. As a result of Wayne Metro’s outstanding programmatic and fiscal track record serving Out-Wayne County, the State of Michigan named Wayne Metro the Interim Community Action Agency for the City of Detroit in Spring 2013. The agency is proud to provide valuable services to low-income residents throughout Wayne County.
Wayne Metro operates five wholly-owned subsidiaries:
The concept of Community Action was initially pioneered in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy through the introduction of the “New Frontier.” This initiative brought together local officials, service providers and neighbors effectively to address juvenile delinquency. Building on the success of JFK’s program, activists began recruiting people from all community sectors to plan and implement programs that would help life people out of poverty. The core principle of these projects was the whole community working together to improve conditions for the disenfranchised.
President Lyndon B. Johnson further expanded the policy ideas initiated during the Kennedy Administration. In his State of the Union message to Congress in January, 1964, President Johnson declared: “Let us carry forward the plans and programs of John F. Kennedy, not because of our sorrow or sympathy, but because they are right…This administration today, here and now, declares an unconditional Ware of Poverty in America.”
Critical legislation born out of the “War of Poverty” was the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, whichwas designed to
eliminate poverty by providing opportunities for education, training, and employment for all. Many initiatives developed through the Economic Opportunity Act are still in place today, including Community Action Agencies, like Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.
Today, there are over 1,000 Community Action Agencies in the United States and 29 in Michigan. Community Action Agencies vary by region and state but focus on addressing the specific needs of their service areas.