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Critical Needs

People come to Community Action for a variety of reasons. Some need help due to an unexpected loss of a job or spouse and others come in because of an unexpected medical or energy bill that is above their limited monthly income. Staff at Community Action who work on the 'front lines', work with people who are in emergent need for help and are often all out of other options.


Here are a few stories shared from our Critical Needs program coordinator:


A man came into our agency asking for help getting a tool belt and work boots.  He had been out of work for a long time and had just been hired to work for a construction company. He could not report for work without a tool belt and work boots.  I was able to give him a voucher to buy the items he needed so he could go to work.


A woman came in and reported that her husband had left a note on the kitchen table saying that “he was through”.  He took all of their money and left her with nothing.  Her immediate concern was that she didn’t have any food for her children.  I gave her a voucher to go to the grocery store and buy some food.  I also helped her fill out an application for food stamps, referred her to DSHS to apply for TANF, referred her to our Energy department for help with her heating bills, and also to our legal department for legal services.


A single mother had been working at a new job for a week.  Her car battery was dead and she didn’t have the money to buy another one.  She was very worried about how she was going to get to work and that she would lose her job. I gave her a voucher to buy a new one.


Here at Community Action we are helping bring down the barriers to employment and providing aid and legal assistance for people in tough situations to get out of crisis and onto a better life.

The Need is Real

Community Action’s Critical Needs Program  assists low-income people who require immediate services when no other resources are available.  With support from community partners and individual donors, the Critical Needs Program provides emergency help in the form of food, clothing, transportation, and other essential commodities.

Each year the Critical Needs Program assists more than 5,000 people with food, transportation, clothing, gas for vehicles, and other basic needs, helping them get through an emergency and on their feet again.

The Critical Needs program is supported by area churches, towns, and individual donors like you. Every dollar donated to our Critical Needs program goes directly to helping families in crisis. Our Mountain of Hope campaign provides an opportunity for your donation to provide continuous stream of hope.

To donate to our Critical Needs program or for more information, contact us at:

In Mount Vernon:

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

330 Pacific Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 416-7585


In Concrete:

Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

45770 Main Street
Concrete, WA  98237
(360) 853-8767 or (360) 853-7009