Major Accomplishments

In 2009...

In 2009, Skagit County Community Action celebrated our 30th year of service. With our over 35 anti-poverty programs, last year Community Action touched the lives of 36,215 low-income residents of Skagit County and beyond, helping more than a fifth of our county’s population move toward lasting self-sufficiency.

In 2009, 1,562 volunteers attached to our agency provided 133,107 hours of volunteer service, at a conservatively estimated value of $2,683,876. Our Skagit Volunteer Center’s website is now in Spanish and English, with “virtual” listings of nearly 400 volunteer opportunities at more than 80 local organizations– http://www.skagitvolunteercenter.org/

The Food Distribution Center helped coordinate service to over 51,000 unduplicated individuals who rely on local food banks. In addition, this Center distributed over 900,000 pounds of food and helped increase nutritional content of food available at food banks by providing more than 60,000 pounds of fresh produce purchased from local growers through the Skagit Food Share Alliance (a partnership with North Coast Credit Union).

The Home Trust of Skagit, a “community land trust” model of creating permanently affordable housing, was established in March 2009.

In 2009, Community Action renamed our Emergency Family Shelter the William J. Shuler Family Development Center, in honor of our recently retired, former executive director of 28 years. In 2009, the center sheltered 288 homeless parents and children.

Community Action’s new program, Skagit Housing Connections, helped connect individuals and families facing homelessness to local options for shelter, rental support and affordable housing. This program also directly helped 468 individuals get out of or avoid homelessness through rental or mortgage supports.

In all, our housing programs helped 1,530 individuals, parents and children obtain safe and affordable housing.

A list of other impressive Community Action accomplishments in 2009 include:  

  • Our Home Heating assistance program helped 6,783 parents, children and individuals stay warm.
  • Our Volunteer Lawyer Program provided 913 family members with pro-bono attorney advice.
  • Our Critical Needs services provided 4,565 people with transportation assistance, 3.160 with emergency food, 310 with clothing, 636 with emergency medical care (dental care, prescriptions, etc.).
  • Our Mobile Food Van delivered 3,404 twenty-five-pound boxes of food to homebound individuals.
  • Our WIC program helped 7,613 infants and children improve their health and physical development from proper nutrition, while pumping more than $1 million into our local economy.
  • Our Literacy and Maternity Support Services programs helped 337 parents exhibit improved parenting skills; 1,073 youth increase their academic or social skills; and 304 children develop school readiness.
  • Our Long-Term Care Ombudsmen program helped ensure that 4,083 senior citizens living in assisted living centers receive adequate care and proper treatment.
  • Our Volunteer Chore program helped 183 seniors remain independent in their own homes.
  • Our Community Jobs and literacy programs helped 45 people gain full-time employment, and 2,475 clients received supportive services to help reduce or eliminate barriers to future employment.

In 2009, in the midst of the economic storm, Community Action was proud to have completed its first long-term Strategic Planning. This plan charts the way to achieving six broad planning goals: (1) Delivering excellent and comprehensive customer service, (2) Improving Board opportunities for education/engagement, (3) Improving agency messaging and marketing. (4) Ensuring agency’s financial stability, (5) Building high quality staff and a reputation for excellence, (6) Facilitating community conversations and advocating effectively.

Last year, Community Action also completed our 2009 Skagit County Low Income Needs Assessment, an in-depth study conducted every four years that serves as a significant tool for understanding poverty at the local level and working toward ending it. 

Last year, Community Action partnered with 554 organizations and agencies to help people and change lives.

We are equally proud to have modified our mission statement in 2009 to include the word “advocacy”: “Our mission is to foster and advocate for self-sufficiency among low-income people in Skagit County.”