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The Council of the Southern Mountains is a community action agency established in 1964 to help low-income individuals and families achieve economic, social, and psychological self-sufficiency in southern West Virginia, especially McDowell County. 

501(c)3 Nonprofit Corporation

The Council is a 501 c (3) nonprofit corporation governed by a volunteer tripartite Board of Directors and is composed of individuals from three areas: 

  1. Low-income and minority,

  2. Elected officials and

  3. Community representatives. 

The agency serves people in the southern part of West Virginia with emphasis on McDowell County, an economically distressed area experiencing high unemployment and social disparities.

Services to Achieve Self-Sufficiency

The Council of the Southern Mountains presently provides services for individuals and families to help them achieve self-sufficiency through programs for unemployed and underemployed individuals, high school drop-outs, unwed parents, parolees, and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) recipients. 

CSM provides job training and other services for these individuals and strives to keep the agency functioning at a level that will provide meaningful interventions for high-need individuals gaining meaningful community services that provide all measures of citizenship and dignity.



The agency specifically served 3,000 families in the Community Services Block Grant program this past year which provides food pantries, transportation, seasonal food allocations, clothing, infant formula for eligible families, assistance to the elderly, energy assistance, and housing referrals.

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