Community Needs Assessment

Maine Community Action Partnership Shares Results of State’s First Community Needs Assessment 

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.

“Much of what we heard will not surprise you,” said Megan Hannan, Executive Director of MeCAP, “we know the reasons many families cannot escape poverty or living on the edge are systemic. The jobs that lead to comfortable lives historically, in mills and manufacturing, have all but vanished. The work ethic has not. But the available jobs are not the same.”

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. After completing a needs prioritization process, the report identifies the five top statewide needs as:
1.    Safe, affordable housing
2.    Affordable, quality childcare
3.    Ending the cycle of generational poverty
4.    Holistic person-centered health care
5.    Transportation

"The Community Needs Assessment is at the core of our agency's strategic planning process," said Suzanne Walsh, Chief Executive Officer for the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program. "While KVCAP's catchment area is largely limited to Kennebec and Somerset counties, access to this new statewide data tool will further strengthen collaborative efforts between all Maine Community Action Agencies in order to collectively address the most pressing issues across the entire State."

View Statewide or Local Reports
About Maine Community Action Partnership
Maine Community Action Partnership (MeCAP) is a statewide organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Maine citizens by advocating for, enhancing and supporting the work of Maine CAAs. Each of Maine's ten CAAs is rooted in the communities within which it serves, collectively touching the lives of approximately 140,000 clients. Each individual CAA has developed a mission statement and program focus areas specific to its organization and service area through community needs assessments. The unifying thread weaving the CAAs together is the strategic effort to improve the quality of life, health and economic circumstances of Maine's most vulnerable citizens -- specifically targeting Maine's low and very low-income people.About KVCAP
The Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) assists people in Kennebec, Somerset, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc counties. It is a private, nonprofit organization, with an annual budget of 40.2 million and 280 employees. KVCAP is headquartered in Waterville, with offices in Augusta, Skowhegan, and several outreach locations. Since 1965, KVCAP has worked to eliminate poverty and build stronger communities by helping individuals and families improve their financial stability.
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