The mission of AEOA is to strengthen communities by providing opportunities
for people experiencing social and economic challenges.
Our vision is that all people served will make measurable progress toward self-reliance or independence.
The Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) was incorporated in April 1965, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and established as a Community Action Program (CAP) for the Northeast Minnesota counties of St. Louis, Lake, and Cook in response to the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act. AEOA offers services in these counties, as well as in the nine neighboring counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Itasca, Koochiching, and Pine, making it one of the largest private, non-profit Community Action Agencies in Minnesota.
AEOA serves individuals of all ages and primarily serves low-income households and people experiencing life challenges preventing them from moving out of poverty. Over the past five decades, the Agency has grown in response to community needs and offers a range of services through six service departments including Employment and Training, Head Start, Housing Weatherization and Rehab, Housing Resources, Senior and Nutrition Services, and Transit. AEOA is a state-designated employment and training service provider, as well as a Community Housing and Development Organization. Not all AEOA programs are offered in all of these counties.
The Agency is governed by a 27-member Board of Directors, representing an equal cross-section of low-income individuals, public officials, and private sector parties. Employing over 350 full- and part-time employees and utilizing more than one thousand volunteers, AEOA is widely recognized as a primary support resource for the region's low-income population. AEOA is one of 1,000 Community Action Agencies across the country who together strive to live up to the promise of our founding.
Community Action comes out of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty and from the advocacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, declaring a "war on poverty." Community officials, service providers, schools, and neighbors came together to plan and implement programs and services to help low-income people and called it "Community Action."
Community Action Promise
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 are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.
Program Descriptions and Contacts