The Star-Herald

Aroostook County Action Program seeks community assistance with 2021 Community Needs Assessment

Aroostook County Action Program 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 10 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 available upon request.  

Aroostook County Action Program leads or collaborates to provide services that support, empower and improve lives. 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. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new clients as well  as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more about services available, contact the ACAP Team at 207-764-3721.

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