Our Non-Profit Connection - "Community is Where the Heart is"
JFCAC is a nonprofit corporation that was established in 1965 with a focus on serving families and communities living in the crisis of poverty. The agency’s history dates back to 1964 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and declared a “War on Poverty.” As a result of this act, a battery of anti-poverty programs, which were aimed at advancing, elevating, and promoting the economic, educational, civic, and recreational conditions of the poor, were created. Community Action (CA) was one such program.
On April 9, 1965, the Jefferson County Community Opportunity Corporation was incorporated to begin providing local Community Action programming to the residents of Jefferson County, Missouri. On February 19, 1969, the Jefferson County Community Opportunity Corporation expanded service provision into Franklin County, Missouri, and amended its name to the Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation (JFCAC).
To date, the two-county region of Jefferson and Franklin continues to be JFCAC’s service community, with the residents of the counties being the agency’s customer-base. The community is located directly south and west of the Metro-St. Louis area. Jefferson County ranks as the sixth most populated county in Missouri and Franklin ranks as the tenth most populous (U.S. Census Data, 2017). The two-county community has distinct areas of wealth, contrasted with significant poverty. Parts of the community are very developed, and “suburban,” while others are very rural, and underdeveloped. The developed areas are rich with resources, while the rural parts have fewer resources available.
JFCAC is part of a national poverty fighting network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs) that are committed to the same promise: “Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirt of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.” The mission of JFCAC is to “serve individuals and families through partnerships, empowerment, and education in order to strengthen and improve the entire community.”
JFCAC’s Board approved fiscal year 2019 Annual Operating Budget was $17.3 million. Its programs emphasize the development of community partnerships designed to respond to the needs of impoverished families in Franklin and Jefferson Counties.
As a corporation, JFCAC has been subject to the same life cycle as other companies. It is apparent by the above history of the agency that JFCAC is not in the start-up phase of its life cycle. It has instead surpassed that stage and moved into the growing and mature stages. As depicted in the below Life Cycle Chart, JFCAC has also experienced many renewals over its 50 plus years of existence. It has stood as a pillar and as a beacon of light for its residents, continually shifting to meet the needs of those who reside in Jefferson County and Franklin County, Missouri.
JFCAC's Program Portfolio
Community Services forms the backbone of JFCAC’s activities and it funds projects that directly empower individuals, impact the community, and build agency capacity.
Head Start is a child development program for children ages 3 to 5. The emphasis is on school readiness.
Early Head Start is a program for low-income pregnant women and low-income families with infants and toddlers. It is designed to promote healthy family functioning.
The Missouri Early Head Start Program is implemented in the same manner as JFCAC’s Federal Early Head Start Program. The distinct difference is that the MOEHS program is funded by the State of Missouri.
The Housing Choice Voucher program, the Homeownership Voucher program, and the Family Self-Sufficiency programs combat homelessness, and create pathways out of poverty.
The Weatherization Program is designed to lessen the impact of the high cost of energy on low-income families. Homes are made more energy efficient by caulking, weather-stripping, wall/floor/attic insulation and other cost effective measures.
LIHEAP provides assistance to households with heating and cooling bills to meet their immediate needs.
The WIC program provides nutritious food supplements as well as education to pregnant women, nursing mothers, women with babies under six months, infants, and children up to age five. Breastfeeding support is offered to all expectant mothers and those nursing their infants.
In response to the growing need identified in JFCAC’s Community Needs Assessment for Mental Health Services in both Jefferson and Franklin Counties, in 2018 JFCAC developed its new Behavioral Health Department (BHD). This Department has been certified through the State of Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) as an Outpatient Mental Health Clinic and has acquired its Medicaid Billing Number. Currently, the BHD is providing Mental Health Services to children in need who are enrolled in JFCAC’s Head Start Program, but the agency plans to expand the offering of services to all agency clients.