Thanks for visiting our FAQ page. Below are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Community Action Organization and it's various programs. If you would like additional information, please feel free to email us at

What is the purpose of CAO?

The mission of CAO speaks to our purpose and goals in ErieCounty. "Our mission is to promote opportunities for low-income families and individuals to achieve and sustain self-sufficiency through advocacy, partnerships and services with in the community."

What communities are served?

CAO provides services to residents in the city of Buffalo, every village and town in ErieCounty.

What services do you provide?

CAO services include, housing, employment, mental health, family development, chemical dependency, health, minor home repair, youth services, senior services, Head Start and Early Head Start. Go to the program or services page for detailed information.

Who is eligible for services?

To be eligible for services, you must be a resident of ErieCounty, be low-income and meet the income requirements of the Health and Human Services poverty guidelines and in need of services.

How can I apply for services?

CAO has five neighborhood service centers throughout ErieCounty. Contact the center nearest you for services. In addition, you can be referred from other Human Service agencies for services. Contact us at 881-5150 or write, drop-in or email us.

How long has Community Action Organization of Erie County, Inc. (CAO) been in Buffalo, New York?

Your Community Action Organization (CAO) has been serving ErieCounty for 43 years. In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Congress enacted into law the Economic Opportunity Act (ECA) and the war on poverty was declared.  In May of 1965, the Community Action Organization was incorporated. CAO was then designated as the official antipoverty agency for ErieCounty.  CAO continues to provide services, which encourage active citizen participation to affect educational, political, economic and social change.


Updated: July 11, 2016










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