Community Services, Office of

Author:Jeffrey Lehman, Shirelle Phelps

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The Office of Community Services (OCS) was established within the HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT by section 676 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981 (95 Stat. 516; 42 U.S.C. 9905). Its mission, as stated on its website, is to "work in partnership with states, communities, and other agencies to provide a range of human and economic development

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services and activities which ameliorate the causes and characteristics of poverty and otherwise assist persons in need." The goal of OCS services and programs is to help individuals and families become self-sufficient and to revitalize communities throughout the United States.

The OCS administers the Community Services block grant and discretionary grant programs established by section 672 (95 Stat. 511; 42 U.S.C. 9901) and 681 (95 Stat. 518; 42 U.S.C. 9910) of the Reconciliation Act. The office awards approximately $4 billion in block grants and $47 million in discretionary grants. It also provides grant money and technical assistance to the over three thousand Community Action Agencies and the Community Development Corporations that are locally based throughout the United States.

In 2002, the Office of Community Services implemented some of President GEORGE W. BUSH's faith-based initiatives. It awarded almost $25 million from its...

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