Ohio Valley Opportunities, Inc. (OVO) is a Community Action Agency formed on October 11, 1965 in Madison, Indiana. For over 55 years, OVO has led the way in developing innovative programs to meet the needs of the older adults, individuals with disabilities, and families with children in Jefferson, Jennings, and Scott counties. In 2017, OVO expanded its Weatherization Program to serve families in Bartholomew, Jackson, and Decatur counties. And in 2022, OVO expanded its Energy Assistance Program to serve families in Clark and Floyd counties. Even after expanding from a three to eight county program area in just five years, OVO continues to seek new opportunities to meet the needs of individuals and families with low-incomes.
OVO still believes in the mission it started with over 55 years ago: to reduce the barriers that prevent individuals with low-incomes from reaching self-sufficiency. OVO’s programs and services complement the workforce development and human service systems by making costly utility bills more affordable, helping people secure and maintain housing, providing free comprehensive preschool services, assisting in crisis situations, and creating linkages to other community agencies.
Our programs are uniquely structured in that they offer specialized programming in our communities. It is a coordinated effort to address the root effects of poverty and to, ultimately, move families and individuals to self-sufficiency. OVO collaborates with nearly 100 community agencies, local elected officials, community-based partners, and stakeholders. Our Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) provides core funding to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities, and empower low-income families to become self-sufficient. As a member of the CSBG network, OVO mobilizes additional resources to combat the central causes of poverty and focus efforts toward increased self-sufficiency, improved living conditions, ownership of and pride in communities, and strong family and support systems. Community representation and accountability are hallmarks of the CSBG network.
OVO provides all of its services without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, familial status, or status as a veteran.
As a Community Action Agency, OVO tackles the root causes of poverty. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (EOA) established over 1,000 Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the nation to implement anti-poverty programs at the local level. Community Action Agencies provide a wide array of services and programming and have helped millions of people move toward self-sufficiency. OVO is proud to serve as the Community Action Agency for Jefferson, Jennings and Scott Counties.
A hallmark of Community Action is the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). These funds are available to Community Action Agencies and support programming and services that help low-income individuals increase self-sufficiency, improve living conditions, gain ownership of and pride in their communities, and build strong family and support systems. These grants are administered on the state level. Here in Indiana, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) administers and monitors the CSBG program.
In Indiana, Community Action Agencies provide service to all of Indiana’s 92 counties. These organizations comprise the Indiana Community Action Network. This network allows these agencies to work together and share information in order to establish best practices in service, provide support and resources, and to identify statewide and local community needs.