Cicilline Votes to Fund Poverty Reduction Programs, Help Rhode Island Families

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) today voted to pass the Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act of 2022, legislation that will provide needed resources to local organizations working to reduce poverty in Rhode Island and across the country.
 
“The best investments we can make for a better future are in each other – and the Community Services Block Grant program enables us to do that. This program helps provide Rhode Island organizations with the resources we need to invest in job training programs, housing initiatives, and health services with one specific goal in mind: lifting families out of poverty,” said Congressman Cicilline. “The Community Services Block Grant program has been underfunded for far too long, and I was proud to vote today to make the improvements this program needs so that we can better empower and help some of our most vulnerable neighbors.”
 
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program supports Community Action Agencies (CAAs), a network of more than 1,000 organizations nationwide that meet communities’ unique needs. CSBG is currently the only federal program with the overarching goal of reducing poverty, regardless of cause or condition.
 
In 2019, CAAs helped more than nine million individuals—including nearly five million families—achieve economic stability, secure meaningful employment and education, gain and improve job-related skills, obtain housing, and participate in their communities.
 
CSBG has not been reauthorized since 1998. The Community Services Block Grant Modernization Act of 2022 reauthorizes CSBG for 10 years—the longest period in its history—and makes several key improvements, including:

  • Making robust investments in the program by increasing the annual authorization of appropriations,
  • Requiring all states to expand income eligibility for CSBG services,
  • Increasing accountability and performance requirements for CSBG grantees, and
  • Supporting new and innovative approaches to reducing poverty through a new Community Action Innovations Program.

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