History

Over 50 years of service to the community.


In 1964, the “War on Poverty” was launched by the federal government under the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon Johnson had only been president for a short eight weeks, having been sworn in as President after the assassination of President
John Kennedy. He stood before Congress in early January, 1964, and gave his first State of the Union address. In that speech he declared:


“This administration today, here and now, declares an unconditional war on poverty in America”

 

President Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act.

 

A few weeks later he introduced legislation known as The Economic Opportunity Act. Its preamble vowed to eliminate poverty in the midst of plenty. Congress later passed the Economic Opportunity Act legislation, which President Johnson signed into law on August 20th, 1964.

 

Among other things, the legislation made funding available to local communities to create a “community action agency” (CAA). Those local agencies were to be the “soldiers” of the war on poverty, identifying local poverty problems and planning and carrying out solutions.


 

 

In 1966, upon hearing the President’s new anti-poverty initiative, a small group of Coulee Region citizens determined that local poverty conditions were intolerable.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the first Couleecap offices on US Highway 14 South of Westby.

 

Something had to be done to improve the lives of people who were living in poverty in the Coulee Region. Their determination and persistence served as a wake up call to others in our area. That wake up call led to the initially small, but very empowering, effort led by local citizens: the creation of our local community action agency, now Couleecap.

 


1966: A Head Start Program organized in the Coulee Region, funded through a grant written by Couleecap.

 

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Click Here to download Couleecap’s History Booklet - Forty years of service to our community

 

 

 

Click Here to download Couleecap’s History Booklet - Twenty-five years of service to our community



 

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