Our Story

The Social Development Commission is a community action agency. In a nutshell, this means per state and federal law, we’re tasked with helping – even advocating for – Milwaukee County residents living in poverty.

We’re different. We’re not bureaucrats sitting on the outside looking in.  Community action agencies like us were created to give people in poverty influence over policies and resources impacting their lives. One–third of our governing board members live in poverty. We amplify their voice as we work together to solve poverty-related issues in our community.

After President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a War on Poverty, community action agencies grew in popularity.

In 1963, the State of Wisconsin enacted legislation (section 66.433) to establish the Community Relations – Social Development Commission (SDC).  Our programs and services address issues like employment, education, finance, health and wellness.

As times change, we change but we remain steadfast as we continue to attack the root causes of poverty in Milwaukee County.

As the largest community action agency in the state, we are a trusted authority with outreach and a vast network of community partners.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower people with the resources to move beyond poverty.

To learn more about Wisconsin’s Action Community Action agencies, we recommend :

In The Arena
The Story of Community Action in Wisconsin
by Deborah Clements Blanks

SDC does not discriminate in its programs, activities, facilities, employment, or educational opportunities on the basis of a
person’s sex, race, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or disability.

Main Office
1730 West North Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53205
414.906.2700

Teutonia
6850 North Teutonia Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53209
414.963.2683

Connect With Us