KOOTASCA Community Action helps individuals, families, and communities fight the multiple causes and challenges of poverty.

KOOTASCA Community Action is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Itasca and Koochiching Counties in Northern Minnesota.

Founded by local citizens in 1965 to address the root causes and conditions of poverty in our community, KOOTASCA is led by the community it serves and empowers the poor to determine the needs and solutions for our communities.

Through comprehensive crisis support, anti-poverty services, and partner referral we help people to help themselves make meaningful change in their lives and journey out of poverty. Knowing that effective advocacy and change are developed within the community our mission, “Building Community to End Poverty,” is a collaborative effort with our community to change attitudes and mindsets about poverty, to change the systems that affect people in poverty, and to engage all community members in creating a community that provides opportunities for everyone.

MISSION: Building Community to End Poverty

VISION  for our communities:

  • All people are valued regardless of race or socio-economic status
  • Systems are just, non-discriminatory, and fair to all community members
  • All People are trained, supported and lead the on-going development of their community
  • Education prepares all children to fulfill their potential and secure their future
  • All people live in safe, decent, affordable housing
  • All people have access to the resources they need for good health
  • Poverty does not exist in Koochiching and Itasca counties


  • That poverty is eliminated through community engagement and leadership;
  • That creating a strong, healthy economy where everyone has opportunities to prosper requires responsible planning and public/private partnerships;
  • That our communities have the resources to eliminate poverty;
  • That the individual and the community are interdependent and thrive together;
  • That all people have value and deserve just treatment, respect, and courtesy.