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 Noal Alsharbini at [email protected] for password and further instructions.

Intro to Change Management


Session one: Thursday July 8th, 2021
Session two: Wednesday, July 14th 2021
No cost

Trainer: Annie Severson

(Network Members Only) Gain knowledge of basic change management principles and practices. Understand why change management is important. Apply basic change management principles to a current project or change initiative. Determine next steps to begin applying basic principles of change management into the work of your organization.

Register Here

Anti-Racist Trauma Informed Care


July 20th, 10:00-12:00
No cost

Trainer: Vo Vo

(Network Members Only) This training focuses on anti-racism and a culturally responsive trauma informed care lens, that address structural and historic oppression and introduces the concept of how trauma effects people and their lives. Outlines ACES, short-term and long-term effects of trauma, PTSD and other analyses of trauma and how it psychologically, socially, and developmentally affects our community members.

Register Here

Homelessness Prevention Webinar Series: Emergency Rental Assistance


July 21, 11:00am PT/2:00 pm ET
No Cost

NCAP Public Event, open to all.

Register Here

Advocacy 101 - 2021 NCAF Essential Workshop #3


July 26th, 11:00am PT/2:00 pm ET
$150 per person

(NCAF Members only) How to Advocate, Communicate, and Explain Community Action to Elected Officials. Please contact WSCAP to get registered if the registration fee is a barrier for your participation

Register Here

Developing Inclusive Practices


July 27th, 10:00-12:00
No cost

Trainer: Vo Vo

(Network Members Only) This session with Vo will cover power dynamics, race and culture, implicit bias and it’s effects, micro aggressions: labeling, interrupting, and defining, and inclusive practice - pragmatic answers to organizational issues. Vo may address aspects such as accessibility and collaborative partnerships that are culturally appropriate instead of traditional outreach models.

Register Here

Navigating Change


August 3rd
No cost

Trainer: Annie Severson

(Network Members Only) Develop a deeper understanding of the individual change process. Learn how to anticipate resistance as a natural part of any change process. Explore strength-based practices to gain support for change initiatives. Practice with how to apply these principles on a team, organization, and community level.

Register Here

Intercultural Communications


August 10th, 10:00-12:00
No cost

Trainer: Vo Vo

(Network Members Only) This session with Vo will cover power dynamics, race and culture, implicit bias and it’s effects, micro aggressions: labeling, interrupting, and defining, and inclusive practice - pragmatic answers to organizational issues. Vo will reflect on strategies currently used in organizations to create a more inclusive and collaborative environment for marginalized identities. This training discusses issues and terminology rarely addressed elsewhere.

Register Here

Leading Change for Managers


August 17th
No cost

Trainer: Annie Severson

(Network Members Only) Learn the roles managers have during change. Develop strategies to prepare yourself, your teams, community partners, and those you may serve for change. Develop an engagement plan. Develop a communication plan. Obtain access to a change management toolkit.

Register Here

De-Escalation / Best Practices for Mental Health Scenarios


August 24th, 10:00AM - 12:00PM
No cost

Trainer: Vo Vo

(Network Members Only) This session with Vo will provide an introductory training for folks responding to various states of mental health, and the best ways of approaching and working with them. We will address definitions, de-escalation, calming strategies, and how to integrate knowledge and trauma informed practices into procedure.

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
Noal Alsharbini at [email protected].

Community Action Agency List