Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action (IMACA) was incorporated in June 1980 with a tri-partite Board of Directors, three staff people and $16,000 a year. Established as a limited purpose agency, IMACA’s first tasks undertaken were to create a resource directory of services and a community needs assessment. The needs assessment was accomplished by surveying a random sample of 10% of both Inyo and Mono county residents. The top priorities established through the needs assessment were housing and youth services.
In 1981 IMACA was officially designated as a Community Action Agency by the federal government. The agency quickly grew and by 1987 had a staff of 32, over 50 volunteers, and a budget of nearly one million dollars. The services being provided by IMACA during this time were focused on community based services: housing, youth services, food distribution, energy crisis intervention, weatherization, community revitalization projects, and other programs.
By the end of 1990, the types of services offered by the agency had changed, focusing on emergency/crisis services, and housing. Also, the number of paid staff dropped from 32 to 11, supported with the help of about 20 volunteers.
Currently, IMACA has evolved back into a full service agency with a budget around $3.5 million, three offices, two low-income apartment complexes, six Head Start/State Preschool centers, a paid staff of over 60, interns and volunteers. Again, the focus of services has changed from emergency/crisis to individual and family based programs that provide on-going services.
A dedicated staff, along with community acceptance and involvement, has been the cornerstone of IMACA’s success; clearly evident by the number of volunteers and ongoing donations we receive, as well as the number of individuals and families being reached. Over the years, IMACA has gained experience as a community action agency and is looking toward the future and ready to evolve with changing needs and to meet the funding challenges the current economic climate presents.