Nearly 14% percent of San Diego County’s population live below the federal poverty threshold.


“Communities in Action helped me to set and accomplish goals to succeed and stay positive. They help me to not feel alone, giving me encouragement to improve my situation. Now I am feeling more secure to ask for help, the resources help us cope with problems. We have more calmness in our family now and we are focusing on new things to help our family.”


Communities in Action is designed to help individuals and families toward stability, empowerment, and connection. We provide essential tools and opportunities that promote financial wellness and self-sufficiency. 


The Communities in Action program provides low-income individuals and families with resources and connections to community services. Clients create a financial path toward independence through case management, classes, and more.

Communities in Action case managers help individuals and families identify their unique needs, then design action plans that build solutions to meet those needs. Services can include the following:

  • Stabilization support to assist with crisis situations
  • Referrals and connections to community resources
  • Benefits application assistance
  • Connection to employment and vocational programs
  • Education and Cognitive Development Classes such as wellness and empowerment activities, behavior improvement, parenting support, and healthy relationships.


The Communities in Action program serves individuals and families who have a low, or very low, income and reside in qualifying zip codes within Coastal North County San Diego. To date, more than 50% of our clients were at less than half of the Federal Poverty Level, and many were without stable housing.  


Laura is 36 years old, with a 21 year old daughter, living in Oceanside with her husband, Daniel. When we met Laura and Daniel, they were living in transitional housing which was ending in 8 months. Laura had left home at 16 years old and struggled with finding safe housing, stable sources of food, and steady employment.  She earned her GED in order to increase her chances for finding work, however, she began experiencing seizures that interfered with her ability to drive or work. Despite medication, she continued to have constant medical needs. Daniel cares for her and assists her during seizures, which makes full time work challenging. As a result, they have been unable to maintain a living income.  

When Laura and Daniel started working with Communities in Action, they had very little money for food and worried what they would do once their housing program ended. Their Case Manager assisted with food, medical insurance, and affordable medication. Referrals were made to programs which allow Daniel to earn income while caring for Laura. The Case Manager was also able to provide a bus pass, so they could access these resources. 

Today, Laura’s family is in permanent housing here in North County. Laura has been improving medically and Daniel has secured employment.  They are thrilled with the stability for their family that they have never had before.  

*Names have been changed for confidentiality


In the last 12 months, 250 adults and children received outreach one-time services through Communities in Action, and 173 clients were serviced through the program.

Families are learning to follow a household budget, increase their savings, open a bank account, improve their credit scores, and secure permanent housing.  Financial literacy classes are offered in partnership with financial institutions. Families can participate in educational and wellness workshops. All clients receive referrals for resources to improve stability and financial wellness. Referrals include employment, vocational training, education, legal services, mental health, physical health, health insurance, public assistance, veteran’s benefits, childcare, child welfare, driver’s licenses or IDs, and transportation. 

  • 93% of households received emergency assistance for basic needs such as food, shelter, transportation, clothing, and utility bill assistance.
  • 300+ household members attended a Communities in Action workshop for educational resources, developmental wellness and/or financial skills.
“[Lifeline] helped me with my children by enrolling them in a program where they received clothing and a computer to be able to complete their school from home.”


Helpful donations include gas cards and passes for North County Transit District, since all clients need transportation to work, job interviews, medical appointments, and school. Additionally, clients benefit from donations of hygiene products. Click here to donate to help with transportation, basic needs, or seasonal expenses such as summer camps for kids of working parents.