The Promise of Community Action: Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.
Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency was incorporated in 1967 as part of the national response to President Johnson’s 1965 “War on Poverty”. Comprised of seven programs with over 240 employees, our efforts are accomplished through unique programs that are designed to meet a wide range of needs, including:
Child Care Resource and Referral: The child care resource and referral program serves parents and child care providers. We provide a list of resources for parents seeking child care in their area, and information on how to choose the right child care provider. We also assist migrant farm-workers pay for child care so they can avoid having to take their children into the fields or leave them unsupervised at home or labor camp. In addition, the program offers a variety of training opportunities to help child care providers increase their knowledge of child development and business skills.
Community Action Drug Prevention Network: This program is based on the understanding that a strong, diverse, and active coalition is best able to leverage local resources and mobilize the community to change attitudes and behaviors regarding substance use and abuse. CADPN is comprised of members representing multiple sectors of the community to provide education and leadership for a number of activities, including: drug free workplace policies and procedures, promotion of the ID theft Reduction Campaign, and Oregon Meth Watch . The program also coordinates retailer education and training to establish better procedures to card and decline sales of alcohol and tobacco products to minors, leverage support for the POWER After School Program in 12 middle schools, and coordinate a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement taskforce to reduce youth use and access to alcohol.
Community Action Head Start: Provides 3-5 year olds with preschool and support services to over 800 families at 17 classroom sites located throughout Marion and Polk Counties. Our Goal is to build on the assets of the family– from developing a life-long love for learning to meeting the social, medical and mental health needs of the family. All of our sites strive to provide the richest learning environment possible while creating a structure that is also supportive and welcoming to parents. Through a full spectrum of services, Head Start promotes the health and well being of the child and family.
Home Youth and Resource Center: Provides a safe, supportive drop-in center for homeless and disenfranchised street youth. Services include nutritious meals, showers, laundry facilities, positive recreation, assistance with employment, education and housing in an environment that is supportive, nurturing and designed to help the youth identify and meet their goals.
Community Resource Programs: Provides a variety of services that focus on promoting housing stability and self-sufficiency among homeless and low-income people in Marion and Polk Counties.
Three Resource Centers (two in Marion County and one in Polk County) offer emergency financial assistance, information and referrals, various types of self-sufficiency classes, support groups and social activities based on each community’s needs and interests.
The Housing Services component provides services that are designed to create stable housing, including: ARCHES- a centralized referral and day shelter for people who are homeless; R.E.N.T.- a renter education program to help homeless or those at risk of homelessness learn the skills necessary to be good tenants; Tenant Based Assistance Program (in both Marion and Polk County) provides rental assistance for very low-income families; City of Salem Tenant Based Assistance - provides rental assistance for people who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless; Housing Stabilization Program - provides case management and financial assistance to homeless and at-risk families; and Mid-Valley Housing and Services Collaborative - an organization of housing developers and service providers to address the housing needs of low-income populations.
Community Action Reentry Services includes: Quest for Change– a 12 bed, 90 day transitional housing unit for men reentering the community after incarceration; and Center for Family Success— provides quality services for parents who have been incarcerated or otherwise involved in the criminal justice system. Pine St Resource Center—Is a “one-stop” center for Marion County residents seeking successful transitions from incarceration back to the community.
Energy Services Program: This program operates Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) and other bill payment assistance programs to assist households with their home heating needs. This program also provides Weatherization assistance to help lower the energy usage of low-income households through home insulation. Weatherization services may include health and safety measures, as well as energy education.
Nutrition First: This USDA food program financially reimburses 600 home child care providers for a portion of the healthy meals they serve to the over 5,000 children in their care in Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Linn , Lincoln, and Tillamook Counties. Our multi-lingual staff visits providers in their homes to distribute nutrition information and resources. Nutrition First also provides free provider training several times each year on such topics as brain development, food allergies, and the ins and outs of child care taxes and bookkeeping.