The Mission of The Community Action Program of Evansville & Vanderburgh County, Inc. (CAPE) is one that encompasses the community as a whole. Our Agency addresses the customer’s needs in a non-judgmental and respectful manner to promote economic and social self-sufficiency. This mission is supported by employees committed to addressing the needs of the community we serve. Our objective is accomplished by collaboration with the community to provide tools, skills and services through programs that meet individual needs.
The Community Action Program of Evansville and Vanderburgh County, Inc. (CAPE) is a private non-profit corporation which was established in 1965. Originally under the auspices of the city of Evansville, CAPE became a non-profit corporation in 1970. CAPE is governed by a tri-partite Board of Directors consisting of representatives from the private and public sector as well as the communities served.
Providing services to customers in Vanderburgh, Posey, and Gibson Counties in southwestern Indiana, both CAPE services and funding have grown immensely during the past 45 years. Programs include the Head Start and Early Head Start programs, Weatherization, child care, homeless housing services, Foster Grandparents, and the state of Indiana’s Energy Assistance Program. Also provided are tutoring services at the Learning Center for those wishing to enhance their reading/math/computer skills or prepare for GED testing, as well as the Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program, whereby qualified customers may save earned income that will be matched on a 3:1 basis to be utilized to buy a home, start a small business, or continue their education. Homeownership Counseling/Down payment Assistance programs and Financial Literacy classes are also available to make homeownership a reality for customers who previously may not have qualified for homeownership.
In recent years, CAPE has developed various affordable housing units, both for rental and purchase. The 24 unit Brumfield Place apartment complex in Princeton, Indiana offers two and three bedroom rental units for low and moderate income households. The Paradise Estates senior rental complex in near downtown Evansville offers low income senior citizens one bedroom rental units which include screened-in porches. CAPE also recently constructed four homes in Evansville providing affordable three and four bedroom houses for purchase.
To address the ever expanding Hispanic population in our service area, the CAPE Hispanic Center was established in 2003, assisting assisting families with translation services in seeking education, housing, and employment, and providing Basic Spanish classes for local financial institution staff.
CAPE’s operating budget during the past several years has increased from $2 million to a current budget of $12 million provided through a variety of federal, local, private and state funding sources allowing services to more than 72,000 low-income families, elderly, and children in the communities it serves. Current funding sources include the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Department of Energy, the Indiana Department of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, the city of Evansville, and other local, state, and federal programs.
“The war on poverty is not a struggle simply to support people, to make them dependent on the generosity of others. It is a struggle to give people a chance. It is an effort to allow them to develop and use their capacities, as we have been allowed to develop and use ours, so that they can share, as others share, in the promise of this nation.”
~President Johnson’s address to Congress in March 1964
The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 authorized the formation of local Community Action Agencies as part of the War on Poverty.