In your corner since 1966

Our history

We were born from the civil rights movement of 1964.

When President Lyndon Johnson declared the “War on Poverty,” it led to the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Community Action Movement. Programs were implemented to provide services to help move low-income Americans toward self–sufficiency.

Today, there are more than 1,200 Community Action Agencies across the country that connect millions of children and families to greater opportunity. Community Action Marin gives the most vulnerable in our community the chance to move out of poverty and live with dignity and respect.

Community Action Marin was founded in 1966 with an initial $40,000 federal grant. In 1967, the Marin County Board of Supervisors designated Community Action Marin as the county’s official antipoverty agency, with a mandate to work to eliminate the causes and consequences of poverty in Marin County.

We are proud to carry that mandate forward today as the largest non-profit social services provider in the county.

Did you know?
Many local non-profits originated within Community Action Marin, including the SF-Marin Food Bank, Ritter Center, the Farmer’s Market, and Homeward Bound.

For over 50 years, we’ve been there when Marin needed us most.

We now get more support to more people than any other organization in the county and believe equal access to opportunities is a human right and a shared social responsibility. We use our influence and voice to make sure our entire community is heard and that everyone is aware of the scale of the problems we’re tackling. We rally support, collaborate on solving the issues, and advocate for policy changes to help level the playing field and are ready take on the next 50 years.

Our agency is seeking to meet the needs of community today and work to increase our budget to $25M over the next decade. We want to diversify the agency’s funding base to better support the kinds of flexible funding that make truly responding as the voice of community possible. Our Step Up Community Fund helps to create a stronger Marin County. Together, we can make our community fair, just, and inclusive so people can not only meet their most basic needs, but they can also fully support themselves and each other on the road to self-sufficiency.

We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.

President Lyndon B. Johnson
Joe Simmons, President, Board of Directors

A few years after President Johnson’s initiation of the War on Poverty, I was excited to have the chance to be involved with the first Community Action Agency in Denver. Now, some 50 years later, I am equally excited to have the opportunity to serve on the board of Community Action Marin. The organization’s experience, imagination and dedication to the programs serving the needs of low-income individuals and families in Marin is inspiring.