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Values, Mission & History


The mission of the Washington County Community Action Council (CAC) is to support individuals and families facing economic challenges within our community. Our aim is to help them attain and sustain self-sufficiency while honoring and valuing the diversity that enriches our community.


At the CAC, we uphold a set of core values that guide our interactions with clients, colleagues, and the community. These values not only shape our behavior but also establish the standards that propel our clients toward achieving self-sufficiency.

  • Dignity
  • Compassion
  • Honesty
  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Consistency
  • Nonjudgmental


The Washington County Community Action Council (CAC) traces its roots back to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which marked the beginning of America's War on Poverty. Our headquarters, once located at 101 Summit Avenue, has a rich history. Originally built as a U.S. Post Office in the late 19th century, in the 1930s, it was turned over to the Washington County Commissioners for use as an annex, with the Cooperative Extension Service occupying the upper level during the 1960s.

In 1964, as President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty and initiated the Community Action movement, a newly formed Community Action Council found its home on the lower level of this historic building. By 1990, CAC had taken over the entire structure, and in September 2003.

In 2005, CAC marked its 40th anniversary. In 2017, the CAC relocated two doors up the street to 117 Summit Avenue.

Nationwide, there are over 1,000 community action agencies, with 17 in the State of Maryland, all focused on improving the lives of neighbors living in poverty. As the designated community action agency for the county, the CAC is steadfastly dedicated to assisting Washington County residents in becoming self-sufficient.

Explore our website to learn more about our programs and how you can join us in making a positive impact.