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Community Action Agencies and communities are faced with dramatic changes in the economy,a widening income gap, and resources that are nowhere near the amount needed to make a major impact on most social problems. Especially since the great recession of 2007-2009,rising poverty, hunger, and declines in economic opportunity and social mobility have affected every state, city, suburb, and rural community in our nation. In addition to celebrating the past, the community action network is reviewing what worked and what did not work and what remains to be done. This paper explores possible answers to the question “ Where do we go from here?”
The Partnership created several Learning Clusters. The National Trends Learning Cluster began by asking: What is the opportunity structure that exists in America? What are the current conditions? What caused the current conditions? What are the trends ?CAAs do community assessments and devise strategies that address community conditions and the causes of those conditions. This White Paper does this on a national basis; it is the first version of a National Assessment.