About Us


The Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico (CAASNM) is an adaptive organization that believes people want to thrive and can guide their own lives to escape poverty. Our mission is to partner with New Mexicans to overcome adversity by connecting our communities, encouraging family wellness, empowering families and bridging resources. Over the course of our 54-year history, CAASNM has served hundreds of thousands of people in an effort to create thriving, equitable communities across Southern New Mexico and indeed across the State.

At CAASNM, we pride ourselves on maintaining a holistic service model to address our clients’ needs. We organize our programs under the auspices of four service pillars: Family Wellness, Family Financial Empowerment, Bridging Resources, and Community Connections. Family Wellness features a variety of initiatives that promote the overall health of children and their families. The core emphasis of this pillar includes providing children with nutritious meals, training home daycare providers, and diminishing the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).


Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico (CAASNM) was established as an outcome of the community action movement under the War on Poverty, through the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (EOA). CAASNM is one of approximately 1,000 community action agencies in the United States receiving core support by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. (Most every county in the nation receives vital support services from one of these community action agencies). The original charter of the CSBG program is “the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of communities, and the empowerment of low income families and individuals to become fully self-sufficient.”

CAASNM advocates for low-income individuals and families in the effort to reduce the incidence of poverty and assist them towards sustained health and self-sufficiency. As a result, communities are revitalized, families are strengthened, and health of communities is improved. Over its 58-year history, CAASNM has served hundreds of thousands of southern New Mexicans and has contributed the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars to the local economy. In 2022, CAASNM supported over 14,000 unique residents of the many New Mexico counties it serves.


CAASNM has long maintained a system of values that speak to its cultural, economic, and wellness sensitive to the needs of families and children in its five-county service region. These values were restated by both CAASNM staff and board during the 2018 strategic planning process:  

CAASNM is an adaptive organization that believes: 

  • People want to thrive

  • People can guide their own lives and overcome poverty and adversity

  • People we serve will be treated with compassion and respect

  • Everyone should have equitable access to healthy food; safe, sanitary and affordable housing; educational opportunities; gainful employment; and quality healthcare

  • In being morally and ethically accountable

  • Collaboration and teamwork will strengthen those we serve

  • Families thrive when connected to their communities in meaningful ways

  • Innovation is necessary to foster our vision and mission


CAASNM empowers and uplifts Southern New Mexicans through programs that build individual and family strength and resilience.

Its board-approved mission is to partner with New Mexicans to overcome adversity by connecting communities, encouraging family wellness, empowering families and bridging resources—CAASNM’s four pillars of service in the community.  

The overall vision of CAASNM is to see southern New Mexicans live in thriving, equitable communities. 

CAASNM receives major support through the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG).  This Department of Health and Human Services program, created through the 1964 War on Poverty, supports the activities of some 1,000 Community Action agencies in nearly every county of the nation.