PRIDE Community Services was organized in 1957 during a time of extremely high unemployment in the local coalfields. Local civic organizations, led by the Women’s Club of Logan, organized and recruited businesses to purchase clothing, shoes, food and school supplies in large quantities to enable children to attend school on a regular basis. The group organized in an attempt to meet the immediate needs of the citizens affected by the soaring unemployment rate was originally known as the Council of PRIDE. The organizers decide on the P.R.I.D.E acronym because of the love of home, county, state and country. P.R.I.D.E. stands for Progressive Rejuvenation Improvement and Development Enterprise.
The first Executive Director, Ervin S. Queen, served as a volunteer until funding became available to hire him on a full-time basis. On November 16, 1964, as a result of President Lyndon Johnson signing the Economic Opportunity Act in conjunction with his historic “War on Poverty”, the organization was incorporated as PRIDE in Logan County, Inc., making PRIDE the first community action agency in West Virginia. The agency’s first grant award was for $150,000. The corporate objectives at that time were structured to meet the ultimate goals of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. The basic thesis of providing common communication and coordinating processes for all community resources was broadened. Representatives of local government entities, civic groups, volunteer organizations, churches, labor, management, business and professional groups were brought into the agency membership to ensure that all “bases were covered”.
PRIDE Community Services is one of sixteen designated community action agencies in West Virginia. Our tripartite board structure is designated to promote the participation of the entire community in the reduction or elimination of poverty. We seek to involve the community, including elected public officials, private sector representatives, and especially low-income residents, in assessing local needs and attacking the causes and conditions of poverty.
Our agency has had many locations for its central offices over the years. In 1981, through an agreement with the Logan County Board of Education, the agency obtained the old Logan High School and the adjacent McDade Hall, 699 Stratton Street, which is where we are located today. In 1992, a private, non-profit organization purchased the property and leased it to PRIDE. In 2002, the property was donated to PRIDE.
Our agency was renamed PRIDE Community Services, Inc. in December 2010 in an effort to demonstrate our expanded service to adjacent counties. At that time, we unveiled a new logo, updated mission and a new vision.
Today, PRIDE Community Services is a vibrant and growing organization. Our agency currently has approximately 125 dedicated full and part-time employees. We actively promote the recruitment of dedicated and qualified staff. We also promote education and professional growth among our employees.