CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - For 50 years, agencies in Calcasieu Parish has provided services to low-income residents. They're called Community Action agencies.
It's half a century of fighting for those without voices, that's what's being commemorated this month all throughout the nation.
"Basically that was done through the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which created these agencies that were charged with the responsibility of eliminating poverty throughout the United States," said Human Services Director, Tarek Polite.
Here in Calcasieu Parish, it's a lot of math to figure out how many people's lives have improved over the many years thanks to the act.
"We know that we average somewhere in the neighborhood of about 15,000 individuals on an annual basis," said Polite.
From Head Start programs, financial education, and job training, the list keeps growing on how to help the community.
"We have many community partners," said Polite. "We work with United Way, Catholic Charities, and a variety of other non-profit and for profit organizations that help us carry out or mission to help alleviate poverty," said Polite.
Most importantly, Parish officials said they're always evolving when it comes to Community Action and reassessing Caclasieu's biggest needs.
"I think absentee fathers are at the top of the list," said Polite. "I think that self-esteem is another and so there might be more mentoring programs that we might come up with.