Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) has begun the process of collecting data for a 2021 Community Needs Assessment. A Community Needs Assessment is a process conducted by Community Action Agencies nationwide every three years to determine the underlying causes and conditions of poverty within the community they serve and identify the available resources to address the unmet needs of the community's most vulnerable residents. The results of the survey are then used by ACAP along with its community partners to develop a strategic plan to best address the needs identified.
“The 2021 Community Needs Assessment is unique as we are collecting both countywide and statewide data. For the first time, all ten Community Action Agencies in Maine have aligned their assessments and will share data to help better understand the strengths and gaps in both the state and designated regions. Once the assessment is completed a strategic plan is developed to address the areas of opportunity to strengthen our community. That is why reaching as many community members as we can is so important to us! The broader the reach of our assessment, the more accurate we will be in building services that truly meet the needs of our family members, neighbors, co-workers, friends and service providers,” said ACAP Chief Operating Officer Jamie Chandler.
The process will consist of several components including an online survey, paper survey, community forums, and focus groups throughout Aroostook County. Once the data is collected, it will be analyzed to produce a comprehensive report. The report will highlight the strengths and challenges that were identified across Aroostook County. A variety of local organizations will then use the results when creating strategic work plans, applying for funding or advocating for additional resources for the community.
This assessment is being conducted by ACAP, with the report belonging to the entire community. Those findings will be used for years to come, allowing ACAP and its partners to make decisions to best serve our community and meet the needs of everyone in Aroostook County. In order to achieve an accurate picture of existing and emerging needs, we encourage everyone in our community to actively participate in this assessment tool. The responses are confidential, and the survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete online. The survey is available in multiple languages and survey participants will have the opportunity to win a $100 gift card.
To take the online questionnaire visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MeCAPCNA. Paper copies of the survey are avaialble upon request.