Kings Community Action Organization (KCAO) is the exclusive anti-poverty agency for Kings County. KCAO is a private, non-profit organization that was established in 1965 pursuant to the Economic Opportunities Act of 1964 and is completing its 46th year of service to the residents of Kings County.
The organization has service sites located in Armona, Avenal, Corcoran, Hanford, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lemoore and Stratford. Hanford serves as the county seat and the largest city in Kings County. KCAO’s mission is to advocate, educate, and provide a wide range of quality services that empower, promote self sufficiency, preserve dignity and improve the quality of life for the individuals and communities of Kings County.
The agency reaches out to low-income people to address their multiple needs and administer a full range of coordinated programs designed to have a measurable impact on poverty. KCAO envisions a future where all people of Kings County are able to live with dignity, have access to all available resources and have the opportunity, motivation and ability to live economically productive and satisfying lives.
KCAO carries out its mission through a variety of means including, but not limited to, the following:
- community-wide needs assessment of needs and strengths;
- comprehensive anti-poverty strategies;
- provision of a broad range of direct services;
- mobilization of financial and non-financial (in-kind) resources;
- advocacy on behalf of low-income people; and
- partnerships with other community, state, and national organizations.
Since its establishment in 1965, the agency has adapted, revised and added programs to serve the changing social, educational and economic needs of low-income members of the community. Currently, the agency provides services, which are funded through a variety of federal and state programs, through four major departments:
- Child Development: Infant Centers; Learning Centers; Resource and Referral; Family Day Care Homes; State Preschool, Afterschool Programs, Capacity Building.
- Head Start: Regional Year Head Start; Migrant Head Start; Early Head Start; Healthy Marriage Initiative; Child Care Food Licensed Program (CCFP) which is funded by the USDA and managed by the California State Department of Education (CDE).
- Intervention, Prevention and Supportive Services: Adolescent Family Life Program (AFLP); Abstinence Education; Cal-Learn; Domestic Violence Prevention; Sexual Assault Services; Barbara Saville Women’s Shelter; Child Abuse Prevention Parent Support.
- Operation Services: Home Weatherization; Energy Education; USDA Food Commodities; Energy Crisis Intervention; Homeless Services.
KCAO’s governing body has a tripartite board structure consisting of local public officials, elected representatives of low-income people and the private sector that represents business, labor, religious, social welfare and/or other private groups within the county.