People Incorporated began as the Hayter's Gap Community Club in a rural valley along the northern border of Washington County, Virginia in January of 1964. The principal of the local elementary school, Garland Thayer, and a country store owner and his school teacher wife, Fount and Thelma Henderson, started the club to provide education, recreation, and day care for Hayter's Gap residents.
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 and Washington Counties and the city of Bristol, People Incorporated offers over 32 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 low-income people to improve their lives, their families, and their communities.