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History & Mission

The History of CCAP

In the late 1950's several studies were conducted on the causes of poverty, urban decay and juvenile delinquency. These came to the attention of then Senator John Kennedy. When he became President, JFK began to develop a Federal attack on poverty by enlisting his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver to develop a strategy to end poverty. Exciting programs were being developed at this time such as the Peace Corps and Head Start.

In 1964, President Johnson continued Kennedy's work and declared a "War on Poverty" by creating the Economic Opportunity Act. This act created Community Action Agencies who were charged with a mission to mobilize all resources toward the elimination of poverty and to provide maximum feasible participation of the poor in program decisions that affected them.

In December of 1965, Cranston Community Action Program was incorporated. At that time CCAP served Cranston, Coventry, Scituate and Foster. As many of our programs grew to include cities and towns outside that catchment area, we decided to change our name. In September of 1994 we officially became Comprehensive Community Action, but still CCAP.

ccap timeline

View our 50th Anniversary "Lending a Helpful Hand" Video

CCAP is celebrating 50 Years of "Lending a Helping Hand to Those in Need." CCAP is a private non-profit community action agency in RI that was formed as part of our nation's War on Poverty. CCAP is the largest community action program in Rhode Island providing Family Medicine & Dental Care; Behavior Health Services & Substance Abuse Counseling; Head Start & Child Care; Family Development Services; Social Services, WIC Nutrition Program, Food Bank, Home Heating & Energy Assistance employing over 320 people. Last year we touched the lives of over 25,000 Rhode Islanders.

CCAP Mission Statement

To empower all people and communities, challenged by poverty as well as social and cultural barriers, through advocacy, education, and access to high quality health and human services.

Vision Statement

CCAP will anticipate and will meet the community's needs as a provider of choice by providing quality health and human services to support and empower individuals and families.


Quality: CCAP is a leader in developing programs which address needs and expansion of services in our community. We hire and train culturally diverse, skilled staff to carry out our mission. We adhere to performance measures and standards that ensure quality in our services and consumer satisfaction.

Community: We recognize the interdependence of community services and seek out ways in which to work cooperatively with others in building a system of care. CCAP promotes individual and community wellbeing through a variety of prevention programs, education, and participation in our communities.

Commitment: We subscribe to the concept that poverty is a condition which can be alleviated with socially supportive programs. We implement new ideas and methods that will improve the lives of all we service. CCAP is transparent, honest, and true.

Respect: CCAP believes that everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of health and care without discrimination. We refuse no one on the basis of race, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, income or creed. CCAP abides by all confidentiality laws and protocols. We provide an environment that promotes self-reliance.