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.

Destigmatizing Poverty


February 9th, 10:30am - 12 noon

In this training, Talcott Broadhead will discuss the ways in which policy, media and myth have come together to stigmatize poverty and poor people. Common beliefs that equate a person’s value to that of their financial worth will be investigated and challenged.

Register Here

Trauma Informed Supervision


February 16th, 23rd & March 2nd, 9th, 9:00am - 11:00am

Providing direct services to vulnerable people is exhausting and rewarding work. In this training, we’ll explore ways that supervisors can contribute to creating healthy workplaces while supporting their co-workers. They’ll be discussed in the context of our diverse organizations; many of which are collaborative, social justice based, and also hierarchical. We’ll focus on both theories of practice as well as tools such as providing direct feedback, evaluations, and addressing work performance issues.

Register Here

Advancing Equity Through Courageous Conversations


March 19th 2021, 9:00am - 12 noon

In a context of diverse identities, cultures and experiences, how can leaders foster a culture of equity and inclusion? Rather than looking for technical fixes, leaders must embrace the adaptive relational challenges that emerge from diverse contexts. This session will help leaders create positive change by providing a framework for change and a tool for facilitating courageous conversations. (For executive leadership and board members.)

Register Here

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