The Community Action Partnership (CAP) is a national anti-poverty movement that dates back to 1964, when it was established through the Economic Opportunity Act under President Lyndon Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty.’ The CAP supports a wide variety of programs and strategies to help individuals and families overcome the effects of poverty and improve their economic situations. Additionally, Community Action invests in the future of their local community to create an environment that supports individuals and families move toward self-sufficiency and economic security.
Community Action Agency
The anti-poverty work of Community Action is accomplished through the national network of Community Action Agencies (CAAs). There are approximately 1,000 agencies that provide support at multiple levels, including direct services, enhancing the CAAs ability to meet needs through partnerships, or by engaging in advocacy to improve poverty conditions in the community. While the vast majority of CAAs are private non-profit agencies, approximately 1/3 are local, public government entities. Both types of CAAs are locally-based organizations with a longstanding community presence and a community-selected tripartite board. This national network serves approximately 7 million families, totaling 16 million persons who are low-income, creating local solutions to local issues.
Snohomish County has been a designated CAA since 1986 and is one of three public CAAs in Washington State and part of the 30 CAAs that makeup the Washington State Community Action Partnership. Today there are multiple programs included in Snohomish County’s CAA, through the Human Services Department. They include:
Programs & Services
Some of the programs and services available for individuals and families who are low-income include:
Assisting preschool children who are low-income to succeed in the public education system
Addressing the educational, health, and social needs of the children while placing special emphasis on participation and support to the families
Assisting eligible low-income households with the high cost of winter heating bills
Emergency financial assistance to eligible veterans and dependents, and veterans' benefit information
Providing weatherization services which improve the energy efficiency of homes for eligible clients who are low-income, including insulation, air sealing, hot water wrap, etc.
Community Needs Assessment
CAA are required to conduct a comprehensive Community Need's Assessment (CNA) every five years with the emphasis focused on poverty conditions within the community as well as available resources to eliminate poverty. This comprehensive information is intended to direct policy, funding and the delivery of efficient and effective programs to meet the needs of the those most vulnerable in the community. In Snohomish County, the CNA is used to direct CSBG funding as recommended by the CSAC.
For questions or comments about the CNA, please email CNA@snoco.org.