Maine Community Action Partnership (MeCAP) and Maine’s ten Community Action Agencies announce the release of the 2021 Community Needs Assessment. This systematic data-driven report that takes a closer look into the behaviors and needs of the residents of Maine outlines the top issues facing Maine families and individuals. Maine is the first state in the nation to successfully complete a statewide community needs assessment and MeCAP is eager to share the findings as community action agencies across the state prepare for the future.
The broad purpose of Maine’s Community Action Programs is to eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty. This newly released report describes the fundamental economic challenges facing Mainers. For the first time in MeCAP history, the data and interviews provide a good comparative look at these challenges across the state and up-close issues by region.
“As a Community Action Agency, we are responsible for planning programs and services that meet community needs,” said Jamie Chandler, Chief Operating Officer of ACAP. “The information provided in this report will serve as a resource for not only for ACAP, but for any community agencies in program planning and implementation. This report is a comprehensive community report and we encourage anyone to use the data contained within the report to support their work. She continued, “ACAP will be entering into a strategic planning process with the information in this report, which is planned to be concluding in June of this year. ACAP will continue to operate and partner with others on projects and programs that will work to address the needs identified.”
The assessment was conducted by MeCAP in partnership with Crescendo Consulting Group. The 357 page report includes a broad overview of MeCAP and Maine’s ten community action agencies, describes the approaches and methodology used in the report, and identifies themes and high-level action areas. The report prioritized recommendations for the state as a whole and each individual region, including Aroostook County.
After completing a needs prioritization process, the report identifies the five top needs in Aroostook County as:
1. Affordable, quality childcare
2. Safe, affordable housing
3. Holistic person-centered health care
5. Access to transportation
The summary and full report can be found for the state can be found on the MeCAP website at: mecap.org. The Aroostook County Assessment can be found here.