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Who We Are

The Promise of Community Action

Community Action changes people's lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

To serve as the legal entity whereby the community may organize itself, mobilize its resources to combat poverty and the related problems of the poor, including employment, education, housing, nutrition, emergency services, income management and economic development as a charitable organization.

A community system in which the dignity and intrinsic value of every person is acknowledged and their social, cultural and economic diversity is recognizable through inclusiveness in all community affairs; a community that requires shared responsibility and problem solving, yet is responsive to the disadvantaged who may need assistance in overcoming barriers to equal opportunity; a community that is equitable, yet humane and supports the full development of its members.

To be a catalyst for growth and development for disadvantaged individuals and an instrument for change in the community, to be a human service provider in the state-the standard by which others are measured.

Our History

President Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Poverty Bill also known as “The Economic Opportunity Act” . The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, created the Community Action Program from Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and Job Corps. This Act, which became the centerpiece of the President’s “War On Poverty” initiative was signed into law August 20, 1964. Community Action in Mississippi was born out of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
 
The Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) was an act to mobilize the human and financial resources of the nation to combat poverty in the United States. The purpose of EOA was to: (1) eliminate poverty, (2) expand educational opportunity, (3) increase the safety net for the poor and unemployed and (4) to attend to the health and financial needs of the elderly,’’ as presented by Dr. Lamar Braxton, Sr., CEO Emeritus of AJFC ( Community Action in Natchez, MS) at the 2014 CSBG Implementation Workshop in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mr. Braxton was one of several long-time activists and trailblazers for Community Action in Mississippi.
 
 Community Action began locally in Lauderdale County in 1967 as the Lauderdale Economic Assistance Program (LEAP) with a nine member board of directors. Gradually, as poverty and the need for assistance in surrounding counties became more evident, LEAP expanded its services into Clarke, Jasper, Kemper, Newton and Wayne Counties, fully incorporating these counties in 1978 as the Multi-County Community Service Agency, Inc. (MCCSA). In the mid-1990s, MCCSA further expanded its services into deserving community of Neshoba, Scott and Smith Counties. Today, MCCSA serves nine counties, all with full board representation as required by the founding act.
 
MCCSA has made its mark in the community both socially and economically through the creation of employment, health and educational opportunities for literally thousands of individuals over the years by improving the conditions in which people live. One of its earliest economic ventures in the mid-1970s was the establishment of the Lauderdale County Federal Credit Union (now 1st Mississippi Federal Credit Union) in an effort to bring lending opportunities to impoverished communities who were denied traditional loans with local banks. Over the years this economic venture became self-sustaining and today is one of the most viable credit unions in the state with millions in assets and thousands of members.
 
Multi-County Community Service Agency

Executive Team

Executive Director

Ronald Collier

As the Executive Director of Multi County Community Service Agency, Inc. located in Meridian MS. he oversees nine counties and 15 programs in east Mississippi with an office located in each county and the agency serves 6 counties on the coast performing weatherization task. Ron Collier is the former director of mentoring programs for young men ages 10-18 from all socio-economics and demographic backgrounds. He also directed federal and state programs including Pathways, a federal program focused on re-uniting or keeping families together, Fragile Families, a fatherhood and family relations program. While working for Community Action of Northwest Alabama for 14 years. Ron was the founder of Father’s Families and Friends a statewide conference for fathers and families which drew 100’s of particpants from Alabama and Georgia. This conference also provided LEU’s for attorneys and CEUs for Social Workers.

Ron was privileged to be the keynote opening plenary session speaker at the State of Alabama Head Start Association, present workshops for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, train staff for Alabama Department of Human Services and consult with programs form across the country. Ron guides the agency using the national Community Action Plan and a Local Theory of Change based on quantitative data from Community Needs Assessments that are taken annually
from clients, religious organizations and collaborative partners in the communities served by Multi County Community Service Agency, Inc.

Ron is the sole Certified Community Action Professional guiding an agency in the State of Mississippi and has also been certified by the University of South Florida as a Diversion, Equity, and Inclusion trainer. Ron states his desire is “ To continue to move the agency forward as an agency that truly hear the concerns and address the needs of his people.

Finance/HR Director

Shaketa Thomas

Shaketa Thomas currently provides financial leadership as the Finance/HR Director at Multi-County Community Service Agency, Inc. Ms. Thomas’ career spans over twenty-four years with the organization and she is instrumental in its financial stability. She administers all fiscal aspects to include budgets and budget forecasting, financial reporting, fiscal policies, regulatory compliance, internal controls and other fiscal tasks. Her Human Resource responsibilities include organizational policies and procedures, strategic planning, employee recruitment, staff training and development, performance management, payroll and other employee relations. In addition, she is the Site Coordinator for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program(VITA) that provides free income tax preparation to low income families.

Ms. Thomas holds a Master’s Degree in Management, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Certification in Human Resource. She received The Most Outstanding Fiscal Staff of the Year Award by The Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Community Services and The Supervisor of the Year Award by The Mississippi Association of Community Action Agencies (MACAA) along with other service awards. She is a member of the East Central Mississippi Human Resource Association (ECMHRA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Her diverse skills and knowledge with community action programs have allowed her to contribute to various functions helping both employees and customers. Alongside of her duties at Multi-County, she volunteers as president for Meridian Hoops, the booster club for the Meridian High School Girls Basketball Team. She also serves as Finance Administrator at Transforming Lives Ministries in Heidelberg, MS and leads some of the church’s outreach ministries. In pastime, she loves to travel, shop and spend time with family. She is the multi-tasker, Shaketa Shalae’ Thomas.

Multi-County Community Service Agency

Support Team

Marilyn Dale

MOW Coordinator mdale@multicountycsa.org

Teresa Grice

Community Services
CS Coordinator tlynch@multicountycsa.org

Sabrina Wilson​

Foster Grandparent Program
FGP Coordinator swilson@multicountycsa.org

Charles Grant

Weatherization Program
WXP Coordinator cgrant@multicountycsa.org

Multi-County Community Service Agency

Meet the Board

Name

Sector

Affiliation

County

Everett, Beatrice

Low-Income

Retiree/Citizen

 Wayne County

Busby, Patrick

Private

 Wayne County

Hayes, Harold     

Public

 Wayne County

Whitsett, Johnny

Public

Kemper County

Jackson, Samson

Private

Retired MS State Senator

Kemper County

Vacant

Low-Income

Kemper County

Payton, Elmyra

Low-Income

Citizen

Jasper County

Darty, Jack

Public

BOS

Jasper County

Williams, Geneva

Private

Retiree/Citizen

Jasper County

VACANT

Low-Income

Newton County

VACANT

Public

Newton County

Jones, Jerry

Private

Newton County

Johnson, Cecil     

Private

Lauderdale County

Newell, Wayman

Public

 BOS – Lauderdale County

Lauderdale County

McGlothin, Trevelle  – Vice-Chair

Low-Income

Citizen

Lauderdale County

Arrington, Patricia

Public

   BOS

Clarke County

Bumpers, Rosie – Treasurer

Low-Income

Citizen

Clarke County

Jones, Olivia    

Private

Retiree/Citizen

Clarke County

Riley, Obie

Public

  BOS

Neshoba County

Vacant

Low-Income

Neshoba County

Riley, Obie

Public

  BOS

Neshoba County

Clemons, Leroy

Private

City of Philadelphia

Neshoba County

Akines, Odee  – Secretary

Low-Income

Citizen

Scott County

Pinkston, Thomas  

Private

Scott County

Bradford, Jackie 

Public

BOS

Scott County

Pinkston, Thomas  

Private

Scott County

Duckworth, Perry  – Chairman

Public

Duckworth Insurance

Smith County

Pickering, Angela      

Low-Income

Citizen

Smith County

Nickson, Glenda   

Private

Smith County