The Roxbury Action Program (RAP) began in 1968 and continues to the present day. RAP was started by a small group of local residents to undertake the task of preventing further decay in the Highland Park section of Roxbury. Its goal was to rebuild and revitalize for the benefit of its residents a once attractive area that had become neglected and deteriorated. Roxbury Action Program had to look at where this neighborhood existed in relationship to the adjacent areas of the City of Boston as a whole. A neighborhood does not exist in a vacuum. Highland Park could not become an ideal place to live in an ocean of decay and neglect. RAP has always been about assisting people to have a stake in the community and some control and ownership where they live.
In its initial years RAP chose not to receive direct federal funding. During that period RAP operated as a self-directed agency. This flexibility was crucial to RAP’s development and planning that truly reflected the needs of the community.
RAP believed that the process of mentally looking at the inner world of the individual and the outer world of the environment could be manipulated positively by specific methods. The methods that RAP used have encompassed productive activities that created rippling effects so that people living in the community became involved. Participation in the future through jobs, stable housing, strengthening family structures and positive involvement in the political systems have helped the population create a measure of control over their lives. RAP realized that the social, economic and educational facets of a community where as important to the health of the community as housing. To that end RAP has over the years developed many social service programs.