In Hayter's Gap, a rural valley in Washington County, Virginia, a school principal, a general store owner and his school teacher wife formed the Hayter's Gap Community Club to provide education, recreation, and day care for local residents. From that humble beginning in 1964 grew People Incorporated of Virginia, one of the largest community action agencies in the nation.
The club soon grew in scope when it attracted the attention of staff from the federal Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), which had been recently created by President Lyndon B. Johnson as the primary tool in his “War on Poverty.” By December of 1964, the Hayter's Gap Community Club had been re-named the Progressive Community Club and was chartered as one of the nation's first community action agencies, designated to serve low income people throughout Washington County and the neighboring city of Bristol.
Today what began as a small community based organization has grown into People Incorporated of Virginia, one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s largest and most successful Community Action Agencies. Now serving Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell, Washington, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Frederick, Culpeper, Fauquier, Rappahannock, and Prince William Counties and the cities of Bristol, Manassas, and Manassas Park. People Incorporated offers approximately 30 programs designed to, “give people a hand up, not a hand out.” Throughout its long history and to this day, the agency has worked to achieve the same mission: To provide opportunities for economically disadvantaged people to improve their lives, their families, and their communities.