From humble beginnings, this public, private and government model created over 60 years ago is still standing strong as the Human Services Advisory Council on behalf of Camden County showing that indeed “we do it better together.”
1935 to 1938
From 1935 when a Rotary Club in Camden City appointed a committee to study the idea of organizing a Community Chest to raise funds for social service agencies in the area, to 1938 when the Camden County Coordinating Council was formed, C.P.A.C. earned its current tagline of “Creating Community Solutions.”
By 1942, by way of a joint budget, this clearinghouse became known as the Council of Social Agencies responsible for social welfare activities for both public and private agencies to improve the quality of life in Camden County.
40’s, 50’s and 60’s
C.P.A.C. continued to evolve through the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s addressing challenges through the civil rights movement and becoming instrumental in the design of local anti-poverty programs. Changing its name to the Council of Community Services and then incorporated in 1958 as the Health and Welfare Council, 501c3 non-profit status was secured. During the 1970’s United Ways absorbed planning councils into their organization. C.P.A.C. stayed an independent entity by venturing outside of the United Way Partners to include social activism.
1978 and by 1981
C.P.A.C. continued to evolve, working with 50 agencies in 1978 and by 1981 CPAC/HSC continued to be an active United Way partner with 250 partner agencies strong and became a model in the nation. (Cited in President Regan’s Public Private Initiative Report)
Acting as a consistent consultant to Camden County government, in 1982 Camden County by resolution designated C.P.A.C. as the principal planning body for county-wide human services in all matters concerning the planning, coordination and review of such services. In this role C.P.A.C. planned, designed, administered and incubated programs on behalf of City, County, State and Federal government.
In 1988 Camden County privatized the Mental Health Board, giving C.P.A.C. oversight of 11 million dollars in Mental Health Funds; this oversight lasted for almost 30 years. By 1993 C.P.A.C. by way of New Jersey State Statute became the Human Services Advisory Council (HSAC) serving on behalf of Camden County and solidifying a Private, State and County partnership.
1992 C.P.A.C. regionalized in a 5-county venture forming another 501c3 Health Visions, Inc. In collaboration with Rutgers University-Camden, Health Visions became the Local Advisory Board (LAB) for Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland Counties. The LAB fulfilled its mission of regional health planning for nearly a decade until Local Advisory Boards were no longer thought necessary by the State of New Jersey.
Since 2009 C.P.A.C. has continued to promote Family Success through the framework of the Camden County Covenant for Children, Youth and Families as well as regional presence as the SNJCoC. Never wavering from lifting the community voice in welfare reform, racial inequities and social injustices, C.P.A.C. honors our past as a flagship organization identifying priority populations, cross-cutting issues and making recommendations on how to improve service delivery systems. Camden County continues the partnership with C.P.A.C. and recognized The Covenant for Children, and adoption of the Camden County Bill of Rights for Children, Youth and Families by way of Resolution in 2009.
C.P.A.C. continued to expand in regional presence, contracting with US Department of Housing and Urban Development as the Southern New Jersey Continuum of Care (SNJCoC) for Camden, Gloucester, Cumberland and Cape May Counties. Collectively, the Continuum oversees $4.6 million dollars in funds annually in permanent housing, planning and services for people experiencing homelessness.