About Bucks County Opportunity Council
What We Do
The mission of the Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) is to reduce poverty and partner with our community to promote self-sufficiency.
BCOC is the lead anti-poverty, 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. As the designated Community Action agency for the county, it is part of a national network of over 1,000 agencies established in 1965 as part of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. We are dedicated to ending poverty by connecting people with the resources they need to thrive.
For over 55 years, the Opportunity Council has served low income families in Bucks County by helping them to stabilize when in crisis, garner resources to achieve a livable wage, gain additional education and training, and work towards economic self-sufficiency.
BCOC believes that people living in the economic condition of poverty are problem-solvers and capable of change; self-sufficiency is possible for everyone; no significant change can occur without a significant relationship; and two things that move people out of poverty are education and training. Most people cannot obtain a livable wage job without training/certification beyond high school.
BCOC does not offer a “cookie cutter” or “one size fits all” approach, as poverty is complicated and each person has a story and a path that is unique. Our coaches are skilled to handle diverse and complicated situations and have resources available to help participants achieve success. For many, who lack the support of a close network of family and friends, the Case Manager is their sole emotional support.
At BCOC, diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the core of who we are and what we do. We serve the whole community and our commitment to these values is unwavering – across all of our work and in all of our programs. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our mission and to our impact. We strive for an organization and community where all people can achieve economic security and belonging and will advocate for change every day. Our commitment to inclusiveness is supported by our Board of Directors and staff and will be evident in our organizational policies and procedures, within our Board and staff recruitment efforts, as part of our strategic plan, and within our organizational goals.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
BCOC commits to reducing poverty by proactively seeking to eliminate racial inequities and racism to advance economic stability in Bucks County.
BCOC values diversity, equity, and inclusion and we have identified four action areas which will be our primary focus in 2023.
- Develop and implement a training plan that includes DEI opportunities for all Staff and Board of Directors.
- Improve engagement with communities of color and target services by offering ES cohorts in throughout the county.
- Close the racial wealth gap through asset development, e.g., home purchase, matched savings, low interest loans and improved access to high quality banking opportunities.
- Maintain a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lens throughout the strategic planning process.
We have five key five programs:
Housing, Food, Economic Self-Sufficiency, Weatherization, and Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (VITA).
During the 2020-2021 program year, BCOC served 57,077 people within its five programs areas.
Our Parent Organization
Community Action Partnership
Bucks County Opportunity Council was founded in 1965 as a result of President Johnson’s War on Poverty legislation. BCOC is a member of the Community Action Partnership – a national, 501(c)3 nonprofit membership organization that provides technical assistance, training, and other resources to local Community Action Agencies – and the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania (CAAP).
The Community Action Partnership is federally funded, administered on a state level, locally governed, and tailored to the needs of within a community.
Community Action Agencies were created to address issues of poverty at the local level and BCOC is the only one in Bucks County. Part of BCOC’s funding comes from the federal Community Services Block Grant, administered by the Office of Community Services and through the state office of Community and Economic Development.