SENCA | Southeast Nebraska Community Action

Investing in Our Neighbors through Education and Partnerships to Improve Lives and Build Strong Communities in Southeast Nebraska.

Community Action Partnership

Investing in Our Neighbors through Education and Partnerships to Improve Lives and Build Strong Communities in Southeast Nebraska.

About Us


Southeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Inc. (SENCA) is a private non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated on May 2, 1966, with its headquarters located in Humboldt, NE. SENCA was incorporated for the purpose (as stated in its articles of incorporation) of "developing and operating any and all community action programs and activities including, but not limited to those authorized or permitted by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964." The incorporators of SENCA were Evelyn Cooper of Humboldt and Cecil Davis of Pawnee City. There were 28 members of the first Board of Directors. The corporation was formed under the laws of Nebraska as a non-profit corporation. SENCA currently provides services to persons in Cass, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, and Richardson Counties of southeast Nebraska. Housing services are also provided in Sarpy County.

SENCA offers a wide range of services that are aimed at the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income individuals and families to become self-sufficient. The services and activities offered have a measurable and potentially major impact on causes of poverty in the community. SENCA works with participants to increase and improve their skills, knowledge, and motivations to secure the opportunities needed for them to become self-sufficient.

Sargent Shriver walks with President John F. Kennedy

The business, property, policies, programs, and affairs of the corporation are determined and managed by a volunteer Board of Directors representing SENCA's six county service area with each county having an equal number of representatives on the Board. At least one-third of the members are chosen by a democratic selection process to represent low-income persons residing within the service area. One-third of the members are appointed to represent public officials and the remainder are appointed to represent private interest. The elected Chair of the Head Start Policy Council is also a voting member of the Board of Directors. Please click here to view a list of the current Board of Directors.


From the onset, the fight against poverty and the plight of the poor came to the attention of the public in the early 1960's. At that time, the poverty rate in the Nation was 22.4% or 39.5 million people, and reached upward of 50% in some counties in Appalachia. During the Kennedy era, the "New Frontier" was created with the focus on Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime. Surplus funds were put to work for job, housing and educaitonal programs with the "War on Poverty" being on the agenda at the time of Presidnet Kennedy's assassination. On January 5, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson, during his State of the Union Message, comminted himself to a "War on Poverty."

Sargent Shriver, brother-in-law to John F. Kennedy, became the American Peace Builder, political leader, and activist. Shriver ran the "War on Poverty" and he inspired, directed, or founded numerous solical programs and organizations, including Head Start, Foster Grandparents and Community Action. To learn more about Sargent Shriver, The American Idealist, click here.

For a complete history of Southeast Nebraska Community Action, please click here to read the SENCA story.

For a copy of the current IRS Determination Letter, please click here.