Educating & Empowering People Today
to Improve Their Lives Tomorrow

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.

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2020 Statewide Needs Assessment

Community Action Agencies recently conducted a statewide community needs assessment in conjunction with North Dakota State University and the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Division of Community Services. We are excited to share the results!  Each of the eight regions in North Dakota have comprehensive results that showcase the needs in their specific geographic region related to employment, income and asset-building, education, housing, health and social/behavior development, civic engagement and other supports. 

Needs Assessment Results

Top Needs Identified by People Experiencing Poverty Across North Dakota

Category Need
Housing Rental Assistance
Income Financial Issues
Employment Finding a job
Health Dental Insurance/Affordable Dental Care
Education Cost

Why a Needs Assessment?

At Community Action, we continually conduct needs assessments across North Dakota because our Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program supports community-based, anti-poverty programs. Local Community Action agencies receive funding from CSBG to develop local action plans based on assessment of needs, currently available services and locally available public and private resources. Action plans target one or more of three main themes: 1) Individuals and families with low incomes are stable and achieve economic security; 2) Communities where people with low incomes live are healthy and offer economic opportunity; and 3) People with low incomes are engaged and active in building opportunities in communities. 

Thank you to the Consensus Council for providing funding for this important needs assessment! 

Additional Resources


Helping You Cover COVID

  • local Community Action Agency

    Apply for Assistance at Community Action

    The North Dakota Community Action Agencies offer programs to serve those in need. Each agency offers unique programming based on the needs in their community; please inquire with the Community Action Agency in your area to see what programs are offered. Eligibility for most programs is based on either federal or state income guidelines. These guidelines vary from program to program and intake forms are used to determine client eligibility.

    Call your local Community Action Agency today if you need assistance!

    Rental and mortgage assistance may be available for those who are up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.  Verification of sources of income and expenses is required to determine eligibility.  Any potential applicant must call their local Community Action Agency and inquire.

    Anyone in need of rent or mortgage is encouraged to work with their landlord/lender immediately.  Work together to avoid eviction and loss of housing.

    Apply for Benefits in North Dakota

    • Eligible applicants are renters that have suffered a substantial loss of income as a result of COVID. Must be 60% of AMI. Applicants will be responsible for paying 30% of their total monthly income towards their housing costs. The rent bridge will pay the difference between total rent due and the tenant portion of rent, up to the maximum rent limits for each community. Households with rent payments that are at or below 30% of their monthly income will not be eligible for assistance.

    • DHS administers these Public Assistance Programs: Basic Care Assistance, Child Care Assistance, Healthy Steps Children’s Health Insurance Program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Other Programs.

    • An additional guide to resources available across North Dakota. Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 information and resources by visiting FACTS NOT FEAR. Be #NDSmart.

    Additional COVID-19 Resources

    Hotline Information

    CAPND Statement on the Effects of CVOID-19 on Low-Income Families

    It is almost always the case that when disasters strike, people living in poverty end up being affected disproportionately. A lack of resources limit both these families’ ability to prepare for emergencies and their ability to recover. As the novel coronavirus spreads across the country and more Americans are contracting COVID-19, we can expect that low-income Americans will be hit especially hard.

    Here are some of the ways in which low-income people will be disproportionately impacted:

    • Poor Americans are much more likely to be uninsured, and as a result, much less likely to receive medical care. Without regular medical care, they are more likely to have underlying health conditions that may make them more susceptible to the worst effects of COVID-19, resulting in a higher mortality rate. Even without underlying medical conditions, the inability to afford healthcare may keep some from receiving treatment, exacerbating symptoms, and perhaps even prolonging the course of the disease.

    • Those without health insurance may also be less likely to get tested when they exhibit symptoms, and therefore may not know that they have been infected with the coronavirus. Some could unwittingly be passing on the virus, meaning that a lack of insurance coverage is a health threat for everyone.

    • With little or no money to spare, low-income people are less able to stock up in anticipation of quarantines or travel restrictions.

    • Since low wage workers are disproportionately employed in industries that are most likely to experience some of the most severe effects of restrictions on travel and measures to encourage social distancing (restaurants and hotels, for example), these individuals are the most likely to experience unemployment resulting from the spread of the virus and measures to control it.

    • Necessary measures intended to limit the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, may also harm poor people. If workers are forced to stay away from work temporarily, low-wage jobs are the most likely to involve tasks that cannot be done at home. In fact, these jobs, which often involve caregiving and customer service, are more likely to involve direct human contact than most higher wage jobs. For those low-wage workers who do have jobs that are amenable to working remotely, they still may not able to do so because they are less likely to have access to broadband Internet connections. Since low-wage jobs rarely include paid leave, these workers are faced with the prospect of long periods of lost income whether or not they actually contract the coronavirus.

    • Public transit, most commonly utilized by low-income populations, does not allow for social distancing and the surfaces on a bus support up to three days of virus persistence.  High-wage workers can afford to use alternatives to public transportation, but low-wage workers cannot.

    In light the outsized impact that low-income people will endure, CAPND urges employers and policy makers to consider these burdens and take steps to lessen the impact on low-income citizens. These steps should include the following:

    • Extend health coverage so that low-income people can receive testing and treatment they need. Tests should be provided for anyone free of charge. Congress should make more Medicaid funding available and grant waivers to states to ensure that Medicaid covers the cost of treatment. CAPND is in agreement to use the power of the CDC to provide free testing for COVID-19 for everyone, although the details of how, when, and where these services will be provided have not yet been announced.

    • The federal government should provide additional funds for states to extend unemployment insurance benefits, and states should be prepared to extend the period of eligibility these benefits.

    • Employers should provide paid leave for workers unable to work due to illness, quarantine, or temporary closure of workplaces. The federal government should provide funds to assist small employers make this leave available.

    • The North Dakota Public Service Commission should issue order that will implement a moratorium for electric, gas, and water utilities. This moratorium should be indefinite, while we are in a State of Public Health and Civil Preparedness Emergency. Our clients will suffer economic losses during this time and will have difficulty paying these bills.


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