Our History

North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. (NSCAP) provides social services that enable low-income families and individuals to obtain the skills and knowledge they need to become economically self-sufficient, civically engaged, and to live in dignity and decency. NSCAP is a private, nonprofit organization.

President Lyndon Johnson founded Community Action Programs through the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, a key part of his War on Poverty. Although CAP agencies were federally funded at first, the current model of funding requires many sources: federal funding, state grants, private grants, and other financial contributions.  From its early years, NSCAP offered support and advocacy for area residents facing challenges in housing, legal assistance and referral services, Fuel Assistance (LIHEAP) and Weatherization, neighborhood organization, employment services, and programs for the elderly, the latter resulting in the establishment of NSCAP’s Elder Home Health Care program. Affordable housing has always been a severe challenge on the North Shore, and NSCAP has been an active advocate for more plentiful housing stock as well as access to housing for individuals and families who have become homeless. NSCAP also works actively to support vulnerable people who might be in danger of losing housing by providing temporary assistance to help them maintain their housing.

While the early years of the agency included many activities addressing the educational needs of children and school age youth, emphasis since the 1990’s has been on Adult Education, particularly preparation for high school equivalency and courses for English for Speakers of other Languages so that immigrants become more eligible for jobs that provide a substantial wage. In the 1990’s NSCAP also began providing family shelter and job training. NSCAP has supported several programs that later became independent agencies, including a homeless shelter in Beverly and a technology-based program for school age youth in Salem.

In 2016 NSCAP served over 11,000 individuals in its primary service area of Peabody, Salem, Beverly and Danvers, plus several other area towns. Current programs run by NSCAP include five key areas: Education and Training, Economic Stabilization, Housing and Homelessness Prevention, Energy Services, and Home Care.

NSCAP is an integral part of the community. In addition to direct service, NSCAP partners with other agencies and services to serve area clients addressing as many of their needs as possible. We understand that when we assist our neighbors in need we are strengthening our neighborhoods, towns and cities, which is good for us all.

NSCAP maintains high standards for service delivery and accountability, submitting reports accurately and in a timely manner, conducting all required audits and reports, and providing information and training for staff as well as for clients using services. The agency maintains accurate records of services provided and monitors progress toward stated annual goals in each service area. Our staff are skilled and dedicated. Our clients work with caring professionals who are committed to helping low-income people find the stability they need to rise out of poverty.

NSCAP is a leader in the community, partnering with low-income residents, local government, businesses, the faith community, and other health and human service providers.

“Thank you NSCAP for helping us with temporary shelter, and a permanent place to live.”