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History of Greene Lamp

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 authorized the formation of local Community Action Agencies as part of President Lyndon B Johnson’s  War on Poverty. 

The War on Poverty attacked the roots and consequences of poverty by creating job opportunities, increasing productivity, and enhancing the quality of life. The aim was not to end poverty but to eradicate the principal causes of it.

The Office of Economic Opportunity was established in 1964 to implement the War on Poverty – its first Director was Sargent Shriver. In 1965 Shriver spearheaded the creation and implementation of Head Start. In its first year, it served 850,000 families in an 8 week summer program. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 established a provision for Section 8 Housing Vouchers. That year CAA’s were awarded funds through the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, starting a continued history of CAA funding from multiple Federal agencies. In 1976 the Dept. of Energy established the Weatherization Assistance Program and CAA’s began to implement energy efficiency measures that are today as essential to the health and safety of our residents as it was at its inception. In 1981 Congress established the Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) to fund CAA’s nationwide. Although today these funds only represent approximately 10% of CAA budgets, the program serves to provide national unified reporting and measurement. The Government Accounting Office monitors CSBG funds; and in 2000 they reported that CAA’s were effective community agents; reducing duplications and effectively reaching the intended targets of the Economic Opportunity Act. In 2002 the Office of Community Services reported that CAA’s were delivering comprehensive programs and services to approximately one fourth of all people living in poverty in the United States.

Greene Lamp was chartered on September 16, 1965, as a 501(c)3 non-profit Community Action Agency. Greene Lamp was established when two different anti-poverty programs merged; Greene County Community Action Committee and LAMP, Inc. (Lenoir Action Mobilization for Progress) thus the origination of Greene Lamp.

Since 1965, Greene Lamp has provided services to low income residents of Greene and Lenoir counties and expanded services to other eastern North Carolina counties to currently include Beaufort, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Lenoir, Pamlico and Pitt counties. 

The Agency’s first programs were the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Self-Sufficiency and Head Start, with Workforce and other programs (Neighborhood Youth Corp, Summer Youth Programs, Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), Welfare to Work, Workforce Investment Act and Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA)) to follow over the next 45 years. Greene Lamp has operated a variety of other programs during its 50 years to include: Afterschool Programs, the Food Salvage Project, Homeless Assistance Project, Title III-C Congregate Nutrition, Title III-B Transportation, Title III-F Health Promotion Services, CP&L Fan/Heat Relief, RIP4 Housing Project, Low Income Housing Corporation Predevelopment Activity, Weatherization Assistance, USDA Surplus Food Distribution, NC Black Caucus Title V Senior Employment Program, Youth Services Summer Grant, NC DHR Family Ties Program, Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance Program and the Greene Home and Community Care Block Grant.


To obtain grant funds in order to provide local services and activities that will have a major impact on the causes of poverty in the community.

Purpose of Community Action Agencies

To obtain grant funds in order to provide local services and activities that will have a major impact on the causes of poverty in the community.


To provide programs and services that will assist families in moving out of poverty, to reduce suffering caused by poverty, and to advocate for an improved service delivery that is sensitive to