PRESQUE ISLE – Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) has begun the process of collecting data for a 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 Community Needs Assessment assists us in collecting information from community members that in turn helps us to identify the greatest needs, and as such, collectively plan to meet those needs. 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 Chair of the ACAP Community Development Committee and ACAP Board Member Suzanne Senechal-Jandreau.
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 highlighting 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.
“The Community Assessment is a very important tool for ACAP and other community partners, but the 2020 Community Needs Assessment comes with its own unique set of challenges amid a pandemic”, said Sherry Locke, Development and Communication Manager at ACAP. She continued, “Our team is ready to meet the challenge and strongly believe that the results from this assessment will be more important than ever as we evaluate our community and the supports that are needed to build stronger services for the individuals and families during and post COVID-19”. < /p>
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. . To take the online questionnaire visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S7WSTFJ.
Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and workforce development services.