226 South Maple Avenue Greensburg, PA 15601
Our mission is to strengthen communities and families to eliminate poverty in Westmoreland County.
About Westmoreland Community Action
Families often struggle to make ends meet. Single parents and single-income families can’t stretch their paycheck far enough to cover their children’s needs. Low-income workers can’t always provide for their families.
Since 1980, Westmoreland Community Action (formerly Westmoreland Human Opportunities) has made Westmoreland County a better place to live by helping struggling families improve their standard of living and become more self sufficient. Through housing services, emergency assistance, mental health programs, employment programs, child development and more – we have helped thousands of Westmoreland County’s disadvantaged residents.
We strive to educate the community and local employers to raise awareness of the plight of the lower income families in our area. Our mission is to strengthen communities and families to eliminate poverty. This is accomplished through housing, information, referral, support, collaboration, networking, intervention, counseling, education, and partnerships.
Westmoreland Community Action's leadership is essential to community service agencies, churches, businesses, civic groups and local governments in Westmoreland County. We are one of 43 Community Action agencies in Pennsylvania.
Westmoreland Community Action - Formerly known as WHO
Formerly known as WHO (Westmoreland Human Opportunities),
Westmoreland Community Action officially changed their name in
May of 2008 to better reflect the mission of the organization.
“The decision to change the agency name was recently made the
Board of Directors to better align with National and State
Community Action Programs,” said Tay Waltenbaugh, Chief
Board Of Directors
Download the Current Board of Directors Listing.
Download the Current Staff Phone Directory.
History of Community Action in Westmoreland County
In 1980, Westmoreland Human Opportunities is incorporated as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. The Westmoreland County Commissioners designate the agency as Westmoreland County’s Community Action Agency. Mr. Richard Hunger is appointed the interim Director. Our agency started with a few key services including Head Start, Weatherization, Homemaker Services, Manpower Employment, Youth Development and Visiting Nursing Services.
Over the next five years (1981-1985) under the leadership of Executive Director Bill Patterson, WHO expands to provide even more employment, training, and family development services.
From 1986-1988, WHO loses several major programs and the Westmoreland County Commissioners assume control of the agency, relieving the Executive Director Steve Zacks. Interim Director Bill Josefczyk and later Executive Director Diane Marks move the agency to offices in Jeannette, PA and continue to maintain the programs.
Current Executive Director Tay Waltenbaugh is hired in 1990 to lead WHO. In just two years, Waltenbaugh rebuilds its reputation with funders, the community, and the Commissioners. The agency continues steady growth through the 90s, regularly expanding services and budget.
In 1995, WHO expanded and moved into offices on Westmoreland Avenue.
A successful Dialog on Poverty (a series of town forums in 1996) gave WHO an opportunity to learn the most pressing issues in local communities and triggered changes in the services offered. An overwhelming need for housing services, WHO began providing the Home Buyer Resource Center to help lower-income families acquire skills and support to become homeowners. Other changes were needed as a result of Welfare Reform. The Supported Work program was formed to answer that need. In 1996, the mental health programs were started as well.
Housing services continue to expand. In 1997, WHO purchased and rehabilitated the first house in the City of Jeannette. The agency also took control of the Next Step Supportive Housing (transitional living) to help homeless families with children.
WHO is recognized with several major awards over the next few years. WHO receives the “PNG Community Reinvestment Award” for the collaborative nature of the Housing Counseling & Money Management Center and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program in conjunction with Operation Outward Reach. WHO and Westmoreland County receive the “US Dept of Housing and Urban Development Blue Ribbon Award for Best Practices” in the Continuum of Care category for the efforts to save the Transitional Living Program (Next Steps Supportive Housing). WHO also received its largest private foundation grant: a $200,000 grant from the RK Mellon Foundation to start a Community Building in the City of Jeannette and New Kensington.
Programs, services and budget continue to expand as we transitioned to the 21st Century. A computer network and website help WHO keep pace with technology.
In 2003, WHO hosts its 1st Annual Wine Tasting Event, one of the major fundraisers each year. Neighborhood Revitalization expands to New Kensington along with programs in Greensburg and Jeannette. Headstart continues to expand and receives a "Caring Act of Kindness Award" from the Caring Foundation for their commitment to enrolling eligible children in the CHIP program.
In 2005, celebrating its 25th Anniversary, WHO's programs and services continue to grow. With Head Start celebrating 40 years, WHO develops their first year-round classroom and opens a classroom in a local school district.
The Housing Counseling & Money Management Center administers the American Dream Downpayment Initiative program (ADDI) funds for the County and becomes a Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) housing counseling agency. Working with the City of Jeannette, WHO begins two major revitalization projects - the South 6th Street Project and Chestnut Street Project.
In 2008, WHO officially changed their name to Westmoreland Community Action to better reflect the mission of the organization.
Westmoreland Community Action is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization under the Internal Revenue Service Code. The official registration and financial information of Westmoreland Community Action may be obtained from the PA Dept. of State by calling toll free, within PA, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
We Provide Services to Residents of Westmoreland County
At Westmoreland Community Action, we provide services to residents in towns and townships throughout Westmoreland County, PA including: Adamsburg, Alverton, Arnold, Bolivar, Claridge, Crabtree, Delmont, Derry, Donegal, East Vandergrift, Export, Greensburg, Harrison City, Herminie, Irwin, Jeannette, Kecksburg, Latrobe, Ligonier, Lower Burrell, Mammoth, Manor, Monessen, Mount Pleasant, Murrysville, New Alexandria, New Florence, New Kensington, New Stanton, North Belle Vernon, Norvelt, Scottdale, Smithton, South Greensburg, Southwest Greensburg, Stahlstown, Trafford, Vandergrift, West Newton, Youngstown, and Youngwood.
Townships in Westmoreland County include:
Allegheny Township, Bell Township, Cook Township, Derry Township, Donegal Township, East Huntingdon Township, Fairfield Township, Hempfield Township, Ligonier Township, Lower Burrell Township, Loyalhanna Township, Mount Pleasant Township, Murrysville Township, North Huntingdon Township, Penn Township, Rostraver Township, Saint Clair Township, Salem Township, Sewickley Township, South Huntingdon Township, Upper Burrell Township, Unity Township, and Washington Township