The nationwide Community Action network was created with the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) of 1964 as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” The ambitious purpose of this statute was to eliminate the causes and consequences of poverty in the United States. The act established a federal Office of Economic Opportunity and created organizations called Community Action Agencies that would develop strategies to solve local issues of poverty.
Originally the Licking Economic Action Development Study, now just LEADS, was formed in 1965 and incorporated in 1966 with the purpose of assisting economically disadvantaged residents of Licking County. LEADS Head Start services have expanded to include Delaware and Union Counties, and most recently an affordable housing project in Knox County.
Over the years, LEADS goal has been to focus on the needs of entire families and communities by providing services and tools that contribute to their upward mobility.
LEADS is proud to be a part of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, and the Community Action Partnership, a national association that represents the interests of the nearly 1,000 CAAs across the country, all devoted to ending poverty and empowering people to better their lives.
Today, LEADS is recognized as a leader among community action agencies for its innovative ways of meeting needs.