KACAP Recommends

Community Action, in Kansas and the entire American Partnership, is committed to fighting the root causes and conditions of poverty. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) were recently honored at the Roosevelt Institute's Four Freedom Awards and highlighted in the column This Week in Poverty by Greg Kaufmann. The CIW has forged the Campaign for Fair Food and created Fair Food Agreements, making national strides for farm workers. As both a call to action and a model for grassroots efforts to end poverty, we recommend them. Learn more HERE.

UPDATE: On December 13th, Greg Kaufmann announced his transition into full-time advocacy, marking the end of the column, This Week in Poverty. As a network, we were inspired by his insight, as people, we were moved by his passion, and as KACAP, we are honored to be included on his list of memorable poverty-fighters. Read his motivational farewell HERE

The economic turmoil of the past five-and-a-half years has fueled sharp increases in financial hardships and

insecurity for American families along the entire income spectrum. According to the recent research of the Urban Institute, those hardships were especially difficult for children. 

To look at pathways to security for both families WITH and WITHOUT children, KACAP recommends these reports from FIRST FOCUS on strengthening the safety net for children, and from Center for Budget and Policies Priorities on strengthening the EITC for childless workers. 

New research makes these supports more imperative than ever, as it proves that childhood poverty and chronic stress may lead to problems regulating emotions as an adult and that poverty and neglect lead to smaller brain and weaker brain development. 

We like to think of ourselves as amateur mythbusters here at KACAP, but we'll confess we get caught up in the near-sightedness that being an American can sometimes bring. The Michael Koh article/list,16 People On Things They Couldn’t Believe About America Until They Moved Here, was shocking, amusing, and insightful. We have many obstacles here that make fighting poverty difficult, but, we also have the tools to conquer them. 

The National Women's Law Center presents Insecure and Unequal: A detailed look at the impact of poverty on women and families over the past 12 years. 

The US Conference of Mayors released their Hunger and Homelessness Survey: This 25 city survey found continuing increases in demand for services and continuing shortfalls in meeting service needs.

The Standford Center on Poverty and Inequality has published the first draft of research from NYU on the Inter-generational Aspects of Social Mobility. While the most data heavy of the three, it analyzes such diverse factors as gender or the impact of siblings on social mobility. 

When KACAP posted the Poverty in Kansas Quiz, we were expecting a lot of people to be surprised but what they learned. (Find the quiz on our Poverty in America page.)

But we also understand that there are those who will refuse to learn, and will cling fiercely to the myths that allow them to separate themselves from poverty. 

Meeting those people is difficult. But, in our experience, few have expressed that frustration as well as Jennifer Ball does on her blog, Scary Mommy, with her post about "Those People." Read the article here.

Also addressing the concept that poverty is an issue of US, not of them, is Mark Rank of Washington University in this New York Times editorial, "Poverty in America IS Mainstream." 

The Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) and the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan will co-host a webinar to explore factors that influence low-income families’ access to Unemployment Insurance including eligibility requirements and state-level policies. Details on this and other training opportunities can be found HERE.

All Aboard: Making Equity Central in Transportation Planning is a webinar focused on how to incorporate equity into the transportation decision-making process in order to foster just and fair inclusion. Learn how to connect workers to quality jobs in the transportation sector; and foster healthy, sustainable, communities of opportunity. Watch the recording HERE.

In this webinar, presenters will describe the challenges community college students face and what potential barriers are on the horizon and detail strategies two partnerships are using to help address barriers to students success.  Aspen WSI will also discuss and introduce a new national survey we have launched to document this innovative and exciting field of collaboration between nonprofits and community colleges. REGISTER HERE.

Is there any doubt that CAAs have entered an era of fiscal austerity and utmost accountability? Positive outcomes and working toward high impact results is the name of the game. How does your agency ensure involvement with proven best practices. This webinar starts by reviewing the movement toward evidence-based programs and practices and scrutiny of CSBG over the past 4 years. Next, learn about ways your agency can capitalize on research-based and other strategies that will strengthen your programs and your entire organization. View the training here. 

Is your housing situation secure? Can you afford groceries? Do you go with the cheapest fast food? Can you get the prescription filled? Raising children in poverty means that everything is more complicated.

Published in the Spring of 2013, this NY Times Blog remains one of our favorite perspectives on the equity model that must be adopted to accurately and adequately fight poverty in America. 

The follow-up to that entry was the acknowledgement that "While education is a great equalizer of opportunity when done right, American policy is going about it all wrong: current programs don’t start early enough, nor do they produce the skills that matter most for personal and societal prosperity." Read LIFELINES FOR POOR CHILDREN to learn more. 


We were honored to host Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK Lobby, and the Nuns on a Bus, as part of the 2013 Kansas Conference on Poverty in Mid-July. Since then, she boldly testified at Rep. Ryan's Hearing on the War on Poverty, “We won’t address [poverty] by ignoring the successes of today’s safety net, but neither is today’s safety net adequate—we need a new commitment to reduce poverty and promote opportunity.”

The links below provide a wide variety of perspectives on her testimony, and how it was received: 


The Kansas Community Action Network is proud to partner with the National Association of State Community Service Programs. They have released their 2013 CSBG report. Look for Kansas on page 21. 

KACAP gathers much inspiration from the Corporation for Enterprise Development, or CFED. They too have released their Annual Report. In it, Andrea Levere, President of CFED, is quoted: "For the first time in memory, the issues that you and I care about - asset building, financial security and economic opportunity for lower-income Americans - have entered the mainstream. Interest in new approaches - such as asset building - has become a part of our national conversation." It is our sincere wish that KACAP contributes to that transition.