In March of 2020, COVID-19 started to change our world in ways we’d never imagined, quite possibly for years to come, if not forever. And, as the pandemic upended all our lives, those that we are called to serve found themselves more vulnerable than ever before. At Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, we were forced to nimbly devise innovative tools and strategies to meet the needs of our program participants and the larger community in this new era of social distancing and sheltering in place. Of course, we were not alone.
Community Action Partnership of Ramsey & Washington Counties belongs to a network of more than 1,000 local agencies, state associations, and national partners that serve 99 percent of America’s counties, hundreds of Tribal Nations, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. This network, established as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, provides direct services to millions of low-income Americans each year and is dedicated to a more equitable society for all.
For the past 22 months, in addition to standard programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start, Food Support, Energy Assistance and Weatherization, and other self-sufficiency initiatives designed to lift people out of poverty, Community Action agencies have been essential in America’s efforts to combat the pandemic, including through: the operation of vaccination clinics and testing sites; free food distribution sites; emergency rental assistance; informational webinars; educational supports for kids; connecting households to comprehensive health and wellness resources; and working to ensure that households successfully access their Economic Impact Payments, Pandemic-EBT and Emergency SNAP benefits, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Expanded Child Tax Credit.
From San Luis Obispo to San Juan, Washington, D.C. to Seattle, Washington, Glouster, Ohio to Worcester, Massachusetts, and from Upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley CAP to our sister organization MAHUBE-OTWA CAP, which serves five counties in Northwest Minnesota, America’s Community Action agencies have risen above and beyond to make a critical difference during this pandemic. And, in recognition of these efforts, National Community Action Partnership has created this “Thank You” video for all to see.