Community Action is not merely a non-profit social service agency. While many of our programs meet basic needs of people struggling to make ends meet, our purpose is to alleviate poverty and help people attain a level of self-sufficiency. As some would say, we are a trampoline, not just a safety net.
The mission of Community Action is to foster and advocate for self-sufficiency among low-income people in Skagit County.
Imagine the uncertainty of not knowing how to provide your family their next meal, the limitations of not being able to read a job application, the despondence associated with losing your home, or the fear of having a sick child and no health insurance to enable you to see a doctor…..these are the faces of Skagit County Community Action Agency. Every year, Community Action provides the tools to nearly 38,000 people to move beyond crisis and onto the pathways of self-sufficiency.
Community Action focuses roughly two-thirds of its resources on goal oriented interventions, as opposed to one-time help. Essentially, while we do assist those in need with motel or food vouchers, or help with paying a power bill, our true mission is to connect with families over an extended period of time - working to offer educational and goal-setting opportunities to help individuals and families achieve major life changes.
Now in our 33rd year of service and with over 35 anti-poverty programs, we see ourselves as a key contributor to the vitality of Skagit County. Because we provide a large array of diverse services, Community Action takes pride in saying that no other local social service organization provides the magnitude of anti-poverty services that we do! Our agency has six areas of focus: (1) Crisis Intervention, (2) Housing and Shelter, (3) Food Access and Nutrition, (4) Health Care Access, (5) Education, Literacy, and Job Skills, and (6) Volunteerism.
During this economic time, more and more Skagit County residents are, for the first time in their lives, finding themselves in need of a hand up. The number of people served per year by Community Action served increased 27% between 2007 and 2011 (from 27,767 to 37,907). We are often the “first stop” for many individuals seeking assistance, providing crucial services for those struggling for stability in the face of job loss, homelessness or hunger.
In the face of disappearing resources and skyrocketing need, the Skagit County community is coming together in entirely new ways to craft community-based solutions to end poverty and its systemic effects on our economy. Though we will continue to benefit from state and federal partnerships, the need to generate locally grown solutions that engage our community and align its resources is essential to create lasting and sustainable change.