Washington State Community Action Partnership

Washington's Poverty Fighting Network: 30 Community Action Agencies equipping low-income individuals and families in all 39 counties to exit poverty.

Mission and Vision

Washington State Community Action Partnership works to build healthy communities and eliminate poverty through a unified network of Community Action Agencies across Washington State.

Community Action believes ending generational poverty and inequity is the right thing to do. Together, we can summon the moral and political will to invest in healthy, just, and sustainable communities that can stabilize and equip our neighbors living in poverty to exit poverty for good.

Washington State’s 30 Community Action Agencies believe every Washington resident has the right to enjoy: safe, affordable housing; quality, compassionate health care; early, K-12 and higher education opportunities; nutritious food; anti-racist, culturally-humble providers, teachers, and systems; sufficient income for basic needs; and a resilient environment and planet that can sustain community.

Download WSCAP's 2019-23 Strategic PlanWSCAP Futures Theory of Change & Indicators

Our Work

The Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP), is a nonprofit organization created to provide a unified voice for Community Action Agencies in advocacy, policy, programmatic and legislative issues affecting families and communities in the State of Washington. WSCAP also provides training and technical assistance to each of our 30 agencies,ensuring high quality and professional services for those seeking our assistance.

Community Action is Washington’s safety net. Community Action Agencies play a key role in helping people get back to work and building a strong foundation for Washington’s future by creating and preserving jobs. In addition, Community Action Agencies invest in people to develop their competencies, support their education, and help them find work. Using flexible Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding, Community Action Agencies focus on creating local solutions to local needs. Community Action Agencies are major employers, together spending more than $200 million each year in Washington cities and counties. About 90% of all funds are used for direct services to help families in need.

Hundreds of thousands of people facing challenges and barriers to prosperity have received help, obtained jobs, established safe homes, received education and are providing for their families because of the support offered by Community Action Agencies. Community Action is designed to respond to local needs that differ from community to community.


What Does Community Action Do?

Check out some of the ways we can help families in your community below:

Advocacy

Community Action believes ending generational poverty and inequity is the right thing to do. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing economic downturn, Washington State legislators must summon the moral and political will to invest in healthy, just, and sustainable communities that stabilize our neighbors living in poverty for recovery and equip them for long-term prosperity.

Download WSCAP’s 2021 State Policy Priorities Here

WSCAP 2021 State Policy Priorities


Protect Access to Vital Community Supports and Build Fair, Equitable, and Stable Revenue Streams

WSCAP believes advancing opportunity and economic justice requires us to consider how we collect taxes and distribute revenue to support the building blocks of healthy communities, including vital safety net programs. Washington’s uniquely regressive tax code costs the poorest Washingtonians six times more of their income than the richest Washingtonians and disproportionately impacts Washingtonians of Color. We support efforts to reduce the tax burden on the Working Poor and generate new revenue streams that reflect Washington’s aspirations of fairness for all. We can balance the budget without cutting people off from support when they need it most.

Reduce Tax Burden On The Working Poor


Expanding the Working Families Tax Credit to provide direct cash assistance to Washingtonians through a Recovery Rebate.

Protecting and expanding funding for Housing & Essential Needs and other proven investments that prevent people from losing access to basic needs like housing, food, and healthcare.


Stabilize Basic Needs and Equip All Washingtonians for an Equitable COVID-19 Recovery

WSCAP joins its coalition partners Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition, and Early Learning Action Alliance in proposing zero cuts to basic needs. We know the challenges facing Washington’s low-income residents have grown during the Pandemic. To weather this storm and keep these existing struggles from spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, recovery needs to target those that have been hit the hardest. In response to the crisis, we recommend starting with investments in basic needs.

Increasing Stability And Creating Community Pathways Out Of Poverty


Invest $240 million for the Housing Trust Fund and an additional $10 million for the preservation of affordable housing.

Generate shelter support by increasing the state’s document recording fee for the homeless housing surcharge.

Reduce the burden on nonprofits responding to the crisis by providing REET (Real Estate Excise Tax) exemption for acquiring property for affordable housing.

Increase funding for foreclosure counselors and extend the Foreclosure Fairness Act to small landlords.

Households Experience Less Food Insecurity


Expand funding for Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP), which is our state’s core support for local food banks who have had record increases (30% - 300%) in demand for services.

Extend funding for DOH’s SNAP Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program (HB 1587 ), which matches funds by SNAP shoppers to purchase produce.

Create Food Bank Local Purchasing Pilots and Grants to Target Gaps through WSDA to provide flexible, responsive funds for food banks and other food providers to respond to emerging opportunities and targeted community needs, especially in communities of color, tribal communities, and rural areas.

Households Have Increased Education, Training Necessary To Reach Their Full Potential


Invest in the quality pre-K that fights poverty with a two-generation approach by restoring the 6% ECEAP vendor rate increase, the complex needs fund, and make progress on ECEAP as an entitlement for families under 185% of Federal Poverty level.

Increase ECEAP funding to a level that will attract and retain early learning professionals in the field and build the capacity of ECEAP providers.

Households Have Increased Access To Healthcare That Meets Their Needs


Preserve the Adult Dental benefits and expand Dental Therapy.

Continue support for Foundational Community Supports under the Medicaid Waiver.


Support Rural Washington Jobs & Housing Stability: Wx+H & HRLP is a Solid Return On Investment

Weatherization Plus Health (Wx+H)


Invest in healthy housing, climate justice, and job creation. Weatherization addresses three critical elements of housing security: quality, safety, and affordability. Your investment helps preserve rural housing, helps low-income homeowners age in place with lower energy costs, and fights housing-related health disparities. We support $55 million for low-income weatherization as outlined in the Governor's Proposed Budget.

Improvements to the Home Repair Loan Program (HRLP)


The Home Repair Loan Program (HRLP) is meant to decrease deferrals of Weatherization projects due to repair needs that are not covered by the program. HRLP helps rural homeowners improve the livability of the home and become eligible for Wx+H. HRLP provides a no-cost loan only payable upon sale or transfer of the property to cover needed repairs. However, the cap on administrative costs in addition to the unavailability of start-up funds has limited agencies' abilities to ramp up this new program. We support the $20 million allocation outlined in Governor Inslee’s proposed budget as well as legislative changes to align eligibility and program requirements with Low-Income Weatherization as the program was intended.


Racial Equity and Social Justice: Building Equality and Belonging for All Washingtonians

Community Action’s roots in the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty call us to respond to the extreme impact of COVID-19 on the health and economic security of Communities of Color in Washington State. Equitably investing in the health,safety, and prosperity of each of our neighbors allows all of us to thrive. Washington state legislators should:

Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive Healthy Communities


Support Governor Inslee's Equity Package.

Amplify BIPOC-led efforts to address bias in policing and build equitable public safety.

Move swiftly to implement the 10-Year Plan to Reduce Poverty & Inequality in Washington State.

Take bold action to carry out proposals put forth in Governor Inslee's Climate Package.

Adopt recommendations put forth by the Environmental Justice Task Force.

Keep people housed bypassing statewide protections against discriminatory and arbitrary evictions and ban discrimination against renters based on a prior criminal record through the Housing Justice Act.Adopt recommendations put forth by the Environmental Justice Task Force.

Recommit to the Clean Slate Act, which clears criminal records after one’s debt to society has been paid.

Households Have Expanded Social Networks And Connections


Close the digital divide by supporting recommendations put forth by Connect Washington, which helps put educational and economic opportunities within reach for rural and under-connected communities.

Increase opportunity for Digital Literacy that cultivates skills and job opportunities now and into the future. Support implementation of the Digital Navigator pilot program and funding for the Digital Equity Local response project that will impact community recovery and revitalization.

Revitalize community capacity with new digital technology and literacy skills that will build sustainable economic development opportunities for workers and businesses alike. Build community capacity to expand broadband by supporting efforts like HB 2414 - Concerning Digital Equity, which establishes and sets forth requirements for the Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program and Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.

Households Have Increased Education, Training Necessary To Reach Their Full Potential


Invest in the quality pre-K that fights poverty with a two-generation approach by restoring the 6% ECEAP vendor rate increase, the complex needs fund, and make progress on ECEAP as an entitlement for families under 185% of Federal Poverty level.

Increase ECEAP fundingto a level that will attract and retain early learning professionals in the field and build the capacity of ECEAP providers.

Households Have Increased Access To Healthcare That Meets Their Needs


Preserve the Adult Dental benefits and expand Dental Therapy.

Continue support for Foundational Community Supports under the Medicaid Waiver.

Training and Technical Assistance

WSCAP provides free and low-cost training and technical assistance to each of our 30 agencies, ensuring high quality and professional services for clients seeking our assistance. Check back regularly to view upcoming virtual training opportunities.

To see a list of past trainings, please visit our Vimeo site at https://vimeo.com/wscap. For any recent trainings, email Andrea Capere at [email protected] for password and further instructions.

Crisis Communication


April 13, 9:00 am – 11:00 am PT
$100 per connection

Trainers: Deron Kling & Zaikeya Morris

Communication is one of the toughest and most common barriers to overcome during times of organizational change – and the complexities of change are expounded during times of crisis. This session will review a planned approach to dealing with an unplanned event, highlighting the role of communication in ensuring stakeholders are identified, intentional action is planned (and delivered) and a mechanism for dealing with additional changes is created.

Register Here

Trauma-Informed, Disability Justice Approaches to Service


April 27, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm PT
No cost

Trainer: Talcott Broadhead (they/them)

A trauma-informed approach to supporting community members with disabilities centers accessibility and the voices of those being served. People with disabilities are systematically marginalized by the mainstream and despite laws and policies that purport to require accommodations, rarely do public services proactively develop universally accessible facilities or support.

This training will introduce attendees to ideas and tools that support trauma-informed, universal accessibility, and disability justice practices in the workplace.

Presenter Bio: Talcott Broadhead (they/them), MSW is a transgender Social Worker, anti-violence and anti-bias expert, Holocaust scholar, author, Professor, and trauma specialist. Talcott's two decades of work with trauma survivors; as well as their own experience in communities impacted by the legacies of trauma, have propelled their quest to seek remedies that are trauma-informed and culturally relevant. Talcott's current work is centered at the intersection of transgender liberation, depathologization, anti-racism, historical trauma, historical resilience, and disability justice. It is Talcott’s mission to teach and practice skills that promote equity, informed-knowledge, and the ethical application of socially-just social work.

Register Here

Strategy to Action: How to move your strategic objectives into actionable projects


May 4, 2021, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm PT
$100 per connection

Trainer: Jeff Prottas

The biggest failing of strategic planning efforts is not in the planning: it's in taking it into action. In this session we will explore both the discipline of action planning and the science of taking action plans through execution. Approaches to managing a project portfolio, an annual and quarterly calendar, and a 90-day timeline will be explored. Participants will use real-world examples to try out best practice approaches to breaking down action plans into projects, next steps, and deliverable dates. The measurement of progress to objective will be addressed for all levels of planning.

Register Here

CSBG Organizational Standards


June 8, 2021, 9:00 am - 11:00 am PT
$100 per connection

Trainer: Katherine Eilers

Join this informative discussion for an overview of the Organizational Standards. Together we will explore methods for improving agency compliance and future impact in the areas of:

  • Community Involvement
  • Internal Leadership
  • Governance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Financial Operations Oversight
  • And Data Analysis

Register Here

Enterprise Risk Management: Don't Miss on Your Mission, from Leadership to Board Risk Committee


June 29, 9:00 am – 11:00 am PT
$100 per connection

Trainers: Tammy Jelinek & Karen Mitchell

Leaders, you don't need one more distraction taking you away from meeting your goals, managing your teams and supporting governing bodies. By identifying risks at an organizational level, you have a better chance of ensuring one risk doesn't cause you to miss on your mission. This session explores what capabilities you should develop and what actions you need to take to ensure critical risks are identified and managed effectively at your agency. For example, having clear business objectives tied to overall strategy, understanding your business context and the impact your community partners could have on your agency, understanding whether you are staying in compliance with regulatory guidelines and more. This session will highlight what an enterprise risk management system can teach you about your organization and why you won't want to manage your agency without one.

You have a governing body. You may even have a few committees as part of your board. But do you have the right committee to oversee risks at an organizational level, and does a risk committee make sense for you? Join this session to discuss the differences between the audit committee and a risk committee. You don't want to be in the position to have to design and implement a risk committee after you need it. You want it to be in place to provide input to management on critical risk issues evident throughout the organization, not just the financial risks. You want it to establish a risk appetite so clear guidelines exist for the amount of risk considered acceptable by the organization, and you want it to help coordinate the activities of other committees assigned to manage risk. A risk committee may not make sense for every organization, but it may make more sense than you realize.

Register Here

Racial Justice, Equity, and Inclusion

Our Vision

Now more than ever, we are called back to the Promise of Community Action and our roots in the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty. We must redouble our efforts to embody the spirit of hope and care for our entire community. Now more than ever that means not just including but centering the voices and needs of Black communities and communities of color that have been left behind for too long. We believe change is possible and will work with all who share these values to make them a reality in every corner of Washington.

BLM Logo

WSCAP Stands with Black Lives Matter


The Washington State Community Action Partnership believes Black Lives Matter and stands with those taking that message to the streets against a racist system of policing. The endless cycle of violence in our country, rooted in our original sin of slavery, must end. Washingtonians, especially White Washingtonians, must commit to unlearning Racism and dismantling White Supremacy in service of Racial Equity. Justice and peace will only come through our commitment to these principles and by following the leadership of Communities of Color. If we fail to take action rooted in this reality, then unrest and the despair of poverty will continue to fill the vacuum of moral leadership.

Read our full statement on our Medium page

Learn More

The National Community Action Partnership has drafted a short list of initial steps for each of us to take action against structural racism. While not an exhaustive list, NCAP believes these are important steps for us as individuals and for your Community Action Agency. Additionally, they’ve compiled a bibliography of resources for Community Action to understand, communicate, strategize and take action to eliminate structural racism.

Get help

To get help with services, please contact your local Community Action Agency (CAA). See the link below for contact information for all 30 of the CAAs serving Washington State.

For general questions, please contact WSCAP’s Policy and Communications Director
Andrea Capere at [email protected].

Community Action Agency List