Community Action Partnership
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:
- Community Services Advisory Council (CSAC)
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
- Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)
- Early Head Start (EHS)
- Energy Assistance (EAP)
- Veterans' Assistance (Vets)
- Weatherization (Wx)
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
In order to better understand resource needs for residents that currently have low incomes, CAAs are required to conduct a comprehensive Community Need's Assessment (CNA) every three years. Recognizing that residents with low incomes are the foremost experts on their lives, their input is collected through surveys and focus groups which guide the CNA. The purpose of the CNA is to inform poverty reduction efforts and resiliency in Snohomish County. It is intended to help public and private agencies plan for service delivery and possible policy changes. Development of the CNA is overseen by the CSAC.
For information about other services and support, please contact North Sound 2-1-1 online or dial 2-1-1 from any landline, provided by Volunteers of America Western Washington in Snohomish County.