The Community Action Agency idea originated on a small scale in the Texas panhandle. It began with interested citizens growing concerned about the despair and crippling effect poverty racked in their neighborhoods. This initiated the formation of the Potter-Randall Citizens Committee. This committee was responsible for planning the development of cities and schools in Potter and Randall counties.
In 1964, this committee appointed a 6 member group, consisting of Harvey Cliver, Charles Lutz Sr., J. W. Collins, B. R. Jones, A. W. Lair and L. O’Brien Thompson. Each county had three representatives to study the possibilities of community development and locating resources to meet their citizens’ needs.
In 1965, the Economic Opportunity Act offered funds for community development projects which resulted in a grant award for the Community Action Agency formation. Therefore a private, non-profit agency was chartered in 1965 by the State of Texas under the name, “The Community Council of Potter and Randall Counties.” An executive director and a secretary were hired to establish an office in the Amarillo Area. It opened its doors to the public at the original location at 1900 West Ninth in Amarillo, on November 1, 1966.
This agency began under the leadership of Argus Burnett, the first of only three permanent executive directors in the history of the agency. The Hilltop Learning Center and the Alamo Center were designed to be a community core and assisted in providing vital community services.
The agency began growing; thus, a name change to Texas Panhandle Community Action Corporation occurred. After approximately 2 years, the Amarillo Administrative Office moved to a second location at 1605 West Seventh in 1968.
Consequently, another name change came in 1985, when the second executive director, Johnny Raymond came on board. The administrative office moved to its current location at 1309 West Eighth in 1992. Johnny Raymond retired after many years of service in 2008.