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The War on Poverty

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared War on Poverty and signed the Economic Opportunity Act, spurring the creation of Community Action agencies to combat poverty across the nation.

Incorporated in 1972, Community Action, Inc. has provided low-income services throughout Northeast and North Central Kansas, living up to the promise of making America a better place to live.

According to statistics released by the Census Bureau on September 13, 2017, the number of people living in poverty has decreased to 12.7%, an 0.8 percentage points drop from 13.5% in 2016. 

Serving Northeast & North Central Kansas

Atchison County Brown County Clay County Cloud County
Dickinson County Doniphan County Douglas County Ellsworth County
Geary County Harvey County Jackson County Jefferson County
Leavenworth County Lincoln County McPherson County Morris County
Nemaha County Osage County Ottawa County Pottawatomie County
Reno County Riley County Russell County Shawnee County
Saline County Wabaunsee County

2017 Financials

How We Are Funded


Our Investmentsinvestments

2017 Outcomes




Our programs provide resources for those most vulnerable in our community, helping to develop strong leaders for the future. 


Preschool Children Were Enrolled at Head Start


Infants and Toddlers Were Enrolled at Early Head Start


of Head Start Children Received Special Education Services

Head Start & Early Head Start

We offer a variety of full-day and part-day program options where children can experience quality pre-school learning and socialization, and receive important health and nutritional services. Families benefit from no-cost, quality care, more confident parenting, and attention to meeting the needs of both the child and overall family.



Was Brought Back to the Community through the Healthy Hearts Food Program

Healthy Hearts Food Program
We partner with in-home childcare providers to strengthen their businesses and improve the health and nutrition of children in their care. Licensed providers receive help paying for nutritious meals and snacks served each day to the children in their care.


Children Received Necessary School Supplies

Back-to-School Fairs
In August, at the Shawnee County Back-to-School Fair, 526 children received free school supplies, and 138 children were served at the Back-to-School Fair in Wabaunsee County.


Children Received Life-Skills Coaching

The First Tee of Shawnee County
Through The First Tee of Shawnee County youth development program, instilling positive values to kids through the game of golf


Kids had Enhanced Safety through Car Seats & Certified Installation

Safe Seats Program
Community Action and Safe Kids provide free and low-cost car seats for infants and toddlers. Our trained safety technicians help with proper installation and parents learn tips and tricks to keep their little ones safe inside vehicles.


Diapers Were Provided to Families

Diaper Depot
We partnered with the Junior League of Topeka, providing diapers to low-income families through our Community Services department.


Helping families and communities thrive by building solutions to poverty.



People Received Translation/Interpretation Services


Students Improved Their English Language Comprehension Skill


Dreamers Renewed Their Citizenship Status

Latino Family Development
Hundreds of families were helped with completing educational, legal, and immigration paperwork through our Latino Family Development program, as well as opportunities to participate in the English Language Learners class and GED preparation course.



People Avoided Becoming Homelessness

Homeless Prevention Services
Our interventions with rent, deposit, and utility assistance help homeless families, and those facing eviction, retain affordable, safe housing.


People Were Housed in Rental Housing

Affordable Housing
We were able to provide 42 units of low and moderate income housing in NE Kansas, and 14 permanent homes to formerly homeless individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses.


Homes Were Made Safe and More Energy Efficient

Weatherization Services
Our Weatherization Assistance Program uses cutting edge technology and professional installers to improve the safety and energy efficiency of homes occupied by low-income families.


Seniors Were Able to Retain Safe, Independent Living

Elderly Services
Our Elderly Services program provides supports that help senior adults maintain their personal independence and health. We primarily target lower income adults, 60 years of age and older.


Households Received Free Tax Preparation Services

Income Tax Prep Services
Every year between February and April, Community Action staff and certified AARP volunteers provide hundreds of residents with annual income tax preparation. Just this past year, 541 people who filed taxes were able to return $684,441 back into the community’s economy.

Board of Directors

The 33-member, volunteer Governing Board includes publicly elected officials, private sector interests, and people democratically selected by low-income people in our service area.

Board Officers

Joe Hoytal, President Greg DeBacker, Vice President Linda Jeffrey, Secretary Lynn Gentine, Treasurer

Private Sector

Joe Hoytal, Kansas Banker’s Association
Mary Thomas, Topeka/Shawnee County Community Resources Council
Jim Kenyon, AFL-CIO Topeka Federation of Labor
Curtis Sneden, Topeka Chamber of Commerce
Theresa Douthart, Valeo Behavioral Health Care
Dr. Harriett Johnson, Topeka Chapter of the Links, Inc.
Stacie Torrez, Mana de Topeka
Darrell Doty, Shawnee County Allied Tribes
John Christensen, Interfaith of Topeka
Katrina McGivern, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved

Poverty Sector

Greg DeBacker, City of Topeka At Large
Sue Wheatley, East Topeka
Jennifer Sexson, West Topeka
Fran Lee, City of Topeka At Large
Jewell Welch, Topeka At Large
Tammy Miles, City of Topeka At Large
Derek Harrison, Shawnee County At Large
Kayla Moore, Shawnee County At Large
Martin Graham, Shawnee County At Large

Public Sector

Lalo Munoz, City of Topeka, Representing Mayor Larry Wolgast
Patrice Coleman, City of Topeka
Councilwoman Sylvia Ortiz, City of Topeka
Oliver Green, City of Topeka
Neva Martin, Shawnee County, Representing Commissioner Kevin Cook
Linda Jeffrey, Shawnee County, Representing Commissioner Michelle Buhler
Lynn Gentine, Shawnee County, Representing Commissioner Bob Archer
Lawrence Wilson, Shawnee County At Large
Mary Stauffer, Geary County At Large
Ron Loomis, McPherson County At Large