Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Jeff DeLuca, executive director of the Washington State Community Action Partnership (WSCAP).
Washington State Community Action Partnership is part of a larger national agency, the Community Action Partnership, that has agencies across the United States. Within our state, WSCAP has 30 community agencies that help in all 39 counties. Our local agency covers Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties. Their mission is to help low-income individuals and families exit poverty.
“Our roots are in the Economic Opportunity Act and the war on poverty from the 1960s,” explains DeLuca, “and since then agencies have sprouted up around the country to do community-based, anti-poverty work. Our mission is to stabilize and equip families and individuals to exit poverty for good.”
This includes meeting basic needs, such as food and housing, and then giving them the tools and resources they need to meet their goals and become self-sufficient. They have over 100 different programs, including housing; advocacy; financial stability; community engagement; employment; health; economic vitality; education; energy and weatherization; hunger relief (food banks); and family and emergency services.
The agencies across the state help people at the local, county level. “Each agency had a process they go through every three years to conduct a community needs assessment where they engage their boards, which include participation from low-income communities themselves, to engage their communities, discuss their greats needs that low-income people are experiencing in those communities and driving their programming based on those community needs assessments.”
At the state level, the WSCAP supports their network with training and technical assistance.
Effects of COVID-19
While some programs had to be suspended in some areas, for the most part, they Community Action Agencies have been able to continue to provide their services remotely, at a time when people desperately need them. They have been providing extra help for people needing to navigate the unemployment benefits, including working with the Employment Security Division to increase language access. They have also provided 300 face shields and 100 masks to food banks and an assisted living facility.
Here in Thurston County, they work with other nonprofits and organizations including SideWalk, Thurston County Food Bank, and United Way of Thurston County to help those effected by COVID-19.
For more information, watch the full video below and visit the Washington State Community Action Partnership website
You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.