Listening to Our Neighbors
From the our very beginnings in 1964, our movement has charged communities to work together with the true "experts" on poverty—low-income people themselves—to create effective solutions and appropriate supports. As such, we conduct a Community Needs Assessment every three years with the goal of understanding the underlying causes and conditions of poverty to address the unmet needs of the most vulnerable residents in our service area.
Community Action is committed to changing the conversation surrounding poverty. In particular, we are trying to dispel myths and commonly held misconceptions about people living with low-incomes. We aim to educate the public, but we also strive to change the conversation of how we address the issues of poverty all together. We believe this is an imperative in our community.
To overcome poverty, we cannot simply address its impacts alone. We must turn out attention and efforts to include combating the root cause of poverty. Without a mature and thoughtful dialogue, we cannot overturn the historical and systemic oppression that is at the root of why people live in poverty. Here are just a few ways Community Action hopes to achieve this:
Deconstruct the stigma around poverty—poverty is a math problem not a character flaw
Shine a light on the barriers facing low-income people who are working to meet the needs of their family, secure financial stability, and achieve their potential
Engage in serious inquiry to uncover biases embedded in our institutional practices and systems aimed at fighting poverty
Work to weaken all historical prejudices, beliefs, and preferences that persist across our community through education, policy change, and re-design of practices and programs
Value the expertise of low-income people and partner with them to develop responses, solutions, and new approaches to be adopted by our organizations, our government, and our community
Leverage the assets that diverse groups of problem-solvers bring to address both the impacts and realities of low-income living
Provided Energy Assistance services for 55,886 low-income people.
Improved living conditions for 103 low-income homes through weatherization.
13 homes purchased and 131 low-income citizens increased their savings through income and asset building programs
Protected 268 individuals from eviction through emergency rent and mortgage assistant.
Helped 4,579 senior citizens and 9,508 individuals with disabilities maintain their independent living situation.
Provided emergency home repair services to 412 households.
Provided 1,778 low-income children with comprehensive early childhood education, health, and nutrition services.
Ensured 1,719 individuals received child and maternal health screenings and 1,508 children received dental screenings.
Facilitated vehicle purchases by 34 families and assisted 21 families with car repair and maintenance.
Improved leadership skills, knowledge, and abilities of 20 people through civic engagement education.
Provided voter education and registration services to 1,320 individuals.
Benefited from 31,317 hours of volunteer services, a value of $343,174 to the agency.