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Strategies & Results

It all begins with assessing the needs of the community.

Not only does CAP support people to become stable and equipped to exit poverty, CAP also provides leadership and training aimed at creating a healthy community where all people can thrive.  CAP works to change attitudes and mindsets about poverty, change systems that affect people in poverty, and engages all community members in developing a shared vision of a community that provides opportunities for every member.

Every three years, a community needs assessment is used to understand the depth and detail of need for under-resourced individuals and families in our community. This important assessment helps CAP staff and the board of directors to determine next steps in our strategic plan  and identify outcomes that need to be met in order to achieve our mission. Below are some important considerations from the latest needs assessment.

“Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.”

Lyndon B. Johnson
President of the United States,
June 1964

Assessment Needs


Our service area consists of two distinct labor markets—Northern Idaho Panhandle and North Central Idaho. As of August 2015, both regions were above the statewide unemployment rate of 4.1% with Northern Idaho Panhandle at 6.2% and North Central region (including Asotin County) at 4.9%.


The Idaho Department of Labor predicts strong job growth over the next decade, but 60% of new jobs will require some education, training or certification beyond high school, with nearly half of all new jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher.


On average, over 60% of survey respondents report they are unable to find affordable housing either to rent or to purchase. As a benchmark for affordability, families who pay more than 30% of housing are considered “cost burdened” and may have difficulty affording other necessities. 47.7% of renters in Idaho are considered “housing cost burdened.”


Survey respondents reported need for increased emphasis on weekend nutrition for school-aged children, availability of more protein, fresh fruits and vegetables in food banks, and education on selection and preparation of healthy foods.

Childhood Hunger

On average, nearly half of all K-12 students in CAP’s service area qualify for free or reduced-cost meals, with some school districts having 80-90% of their students eligible. Food insecurity can damage a child's health and brain development years before they enter a classroom. By kindergarten, food-insecure children are cognitively, emotionally and physically behind their food-secure peers.


51% of respondents in the assessment reported that care was needed in areas of medical, dental, mental health care, prescription medication, or drug/alcohol treatment that they were not able to receive. Barriers include costs, availability and accessibility.


Lack of available, affordable transportation options is often a barrier to obtaining and maintaining a job, attending an education or training program, accessing healthy food, and accessing health and other services. 70% of respondents reported transportation problems.