On August 20, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law an Act that mobilized our nation’s human and financial resources to combat poverty in the United States.

This law created the Office of Economic Opportunity. As its goal, this central agency within the federal government set forth to “eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty” through the development, testing and operation of various urban and rural anti-poverty programs. The Office of Economic Opportunity was abolished in 1981, its programs have been scattered among other federal agencies, in particular the Department of Health and Human Services.

On June 23, 1965, the Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community Action Agency was granted a charter by the Michigan Corporation and Securities Commission to function as a private non-profit organization for the express purpose of serving the counties of Baraga, Houghton, and Keweenaw.

Since its inception, the B-H-K CAA has achieved remarkable headway through increased public and private understanding of the scope, causes and problems of poverty. In so doing, it has broadened the resource base of its self-help programs by drawing upon other private and public agencies, business, religious, charitable, and neighborhood organizations and private citizens.

The agency strives to bring new and necessary programs within reach of those in need and advocates for those who have been too long neglected. Toward this end the B-H-K CAA continually stimulates a better focusing of local, state and federal resources so that every area resident may “attain the skills, knowledge and motivations needed to become self-sufficient”. In this respect, the Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community is truly, as its motto suggests, an agency “helping people to help themselves”.

Credit for the agency’s success must be shared by current and previous members of the B-H-K CAA governing board, community leaders representing other human service agencies and public officials throughout the three-county area. Recognition must also be given to the organization’s dedicated staff, administrators, managers, and all other full and part-time employees who have and will continue to make the Baraga-Houghton-Keweenaw Community Action Agency a model service organization.