Community Action

The Community Action Way

Our Way means putting customers in charge of their lives and focusing on the strengths in each household.

Our Way means providing guidance and service that reduces trauma and embraces the diversity and differences in each person.

Our Way means building a relationship that helps families move from poverty toward prosperity

Our Supports

Community Action offers numerous supports, including early childhood education, rental housing, help with basic needs, and much more. Connect with us today to discuss your opportunities .

For Children

Community Action offers the nationally renowned  Head Start and Early Head Start for children 2 weeks  through 5 years old. We provide nutritious meals, utilize the effective “Conscious Discipline” model, and the program is free for qualified families.


Early Head Start Ages
– Infants and toddlers up to 3 years old
Head Start Ages
– Children age 3 or 4 years on their first day of class


Automatic Qualifiers: Children from families receiving public assistance (TANF or SSI), or who are Foster Children, are eligible for Early Head Start and Head Start services regardless of family income.

Household Income: Most Head Start and Early Head Start spaces are reserved for households with income at or below the Federal Poverty Level.  Limited space may be available for families with incomes up to 130% FPL.

For Family

We believe in a Whole Family Approach.  We recognize that families come in all different shapes and sizes and that families define themselves. From basic needs assistance to achieving in-depth, long-term goals, Community Action is here.

Community Action may be able to help  households avoid eviction or utility disconnections.  Resources for deposits may also be available for people currently experiencing homelessness. For more information call 785-836-4500.

IMPORTANT: For the best chance of avoiding eviction or disconnection, contact us as soon as you receive notice from your landlord or  utility company.

This experimental project draws on research demonstrating the most effective way to ensure kids do well is to make sure the adults in their lives are also doing well.  Participating families receive a wide range of  individual and family development supports.  Curriculum includes group training with other Whole Family Advantage participants, 1:1 sessions with a qualified goal counselor, and targeted assistance with basic needs and long-term goals.

If your family is interested in helping Community Action design and implement this new program, call us at (785) 836-4500 and request an interview with the Whole Family Advantage Specialist.

Community Action offers a mobile camera and printer that produces the identification badge necessary to purchase reduced pass fares from Topeka Metro. For more information call 785-836-4500.

Targeted to senior people who are home bound in rural areas of Shawnee and Wabaunsee Counties, staff and volunteers deliver monthly surplus foods and government-sponsored commodities. For more information call 785-836-4500.

Our mobile food pantry provides food boxes to low-income individuals once  month in Auburn and Rossville. Call 785-835-4500 for more information.

Income tax filers with annual household incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for free income tax preparation and filing assistance.  Call (785) 836-4500 between January and April to check for appointment availability.


Community Action provides 50 diapers each month, at no cost, to parents with low-income and with a child between 0 and 3 years living in the household.

IMPORTANT: Up to 200 children per month can be served.  Typically, there are few openings in program availability, however, call us at (785) 836-4500 if you are experiencing emergency diaper needs.

Once per quarter, Community Action provides up to 100 individuals,with no or low-incomes, free pads and tampons.

IMPORTANT: Supplies are limited and we may not always have an opening in the program for new customers.  Call us at (785) 436-4500 if you are experiencing a need for period supplies.

For Home

Every individual deserves to live in safe and affordable housing. Community Action offers several different opportunities for improving your family’s home.

Community Action’s Rental Housing Program provides quality, safe and affordable housing to families with lower-incomes. The program includes single-family homes in Topeka, duplexes in Meriden, and apartments in Clay Center.

• Affordable rent
• Provided maintenance
• Monthly inspection to make sure everything is working correctly
• Professionalism and respect from our staff
• A place to call “Home”

Community Action also operates a Permanent Supportive Housing project in Topeka in cooperation with Valeo Behavioral Health Care.

Contact Community Action at 785-836-4500 for more information.

Currently homeless individuals may be eligible for assistance with Rapid Re-housing. Income eligibility varies based on the requirements of different funding partners. Applicants must have already identified a rental property in Shawnee County, and, must demonstrate sufficient income to sustain the rental contract after Community Action provides assistance. Qualified applicants must not have received similar assistance from Community Action or another social service provider within the past 12 months. Supports offered will depend on each customer’s needs and the availability of funding received by Community Action. Potential ways Rapid Re-housing can help include payment of first month’s rent, security deposit, utility deposit(s), and, certain utility arrears payment(s). If homelessness has been caused by a COVID-related circumstance, Community Acton may be able to help with up to 6 months of rent.

One Application Opens Every Door

Step One:

Talk To Your Community Action Family Empowerment Specialist

Customers can call Community Action at (785) 836-4500, walk-in at one of our three, Topeka-area locations, or, fill out a website inquiry form.  Our friendly customer service staff will quickly connect you to a member of our Family Empowerment Team.

From that moment on, your Family Empowerment Specialist will be your host and helper. Got a question?  Call your Community Action FES.  Need to turn in paperwork?  Talk with your Community Action FES.  Got rent assistance last month and want to talk about applying for Weatherization this month?  Call your Community Action FES.  Family Empowerment Specialists take the journey with our customers and help make sense of the paperwork, appointments and other details.  They know how to access any support from Community Action and can also seamlessly connect customers with supports outside of Community Action.

Step Two:

Participate in Customer Intake

The “Customer Intake” process gathers information and identifies the types of support you can access with Community Action. Think of it as an application process for every possible way we can work together on your journey toward economic security.  Customer Intake begins as soon as you start talking with your Community Action Family Empowerment Specialist.  Usually, our representative will take 15 – 20 minutes to learn more about your situation and briefly explain if Community Action might be able to help.  Your Specialist will go into detail about the types of information needed to officially determine eligibility for supports, and, typically, you’ll be invited back with a specific appointment time.  An intake meeting may last between 30 and 60 minutes, and occasionally, the process might require more than one session.  We understand our customers would like to have answers as soon as possible.  It’s our goal to complete the required Intake process with each interested customer without delay.

Step Three:

Choose What Works Best For You

Your Community Action Family Empowerment Specialist will explain the support opportunities available to you, based on the results of the Customer Intake data. You decide what will work best.

The Customer Journey


Connect with Community Action via online, phone call, or on location.


Your Community Action Family Empowerment Specialist will ensure you receive the proper attention needed for each support provided.


Every individual receives a comprehensive assessment to match them with the correct services.


Each customer journey is unique. We make sure to track your progress every step of the way.

Ready to start your journey?