Network Connection
August 2019
Greetings Missouri Community Action Network!
As I was considering what to write for the August letter to the Network, a few things immediately came to mind but I kept returning to one thing: I’m entering my twelfth month of work and life here in Missouri. It's unbelievable that it's already been a year!

I then thought of all the changes I’ve gone through in the past year. These changes have been both exciting and sometimes a difficult part of this new journey for me. But I wasn’t the only one dealing with the effects of change that came with my move to Missouri— you all have been adapting to me and navigating this change as well. 

I recognize that change is really tough for most people, especially a change in leadership. A few years ago, when I first began managing and implementing department-wide and programmatic changes in Northern Kentucky, I read several articles on the subject. One survey conducted in the workplace highlighted this question in their summary:

When asked, "Would you rather work for change (in the workplace), or just complain?" 81% of respondents replied, "Do I have to pick? This is hard."  

So, why do most people see complaining as the easier response compared to working for or embracing change? The research tells us that it’s because as humans, we find complaining about a situation far less stressful than dealing with the uncertainty that accompanies the requisite change.  

What strikes me most about the last year is that you as a Network have not, in any way, been like the 81% of people who have a hard time leaning into the uncertainty.

Instead, you have provided support, and open, honest feedback (criticism included). You've also shared great ideas and suggestions for strengthening the Network to me and the Missouri CAN staff during this time of transition and big change. You've done all this while managing how a new person in my role might affect you and your organization. I am incredibly grateful and humbled by this, yet I’m also excited to see how we continue to manage change together over the next year as we embark on a new strategic plan and face the unforeseen challenges and changes that will inevitably come our way.  

With much gratitude, 
Dawna Fogarty
Executive Director, Missouri CAN
Advocacy - A voice for low-income Missourians
Missouri's Medicaid Enrollment Continues to Decline

For the past several months, Missouri healthcare advocates have raised a number of red flags about declining Medicaid enrollment in Missouri, particularly related to children who receive this critical safety net assistance. In fact, one of our partners recently reported that enrollment fell another -11,552 in June 2019 (including -9,039 kids). These figures indicate the children in our state are losing health insurance at the second highest rate in the country, behind only Idaho. 

Overall since January 2018, we have learned from our partners that:
  • Enrollment is down -119,454 or -12.2% overall.
  • Child enrollment dropped -94,492 or -15.2% (so approaching 100K), which is 79% of the total decline in enrollment.
  • Custodial parent enrollment dropped -23,524 (-24%).
  • Enrollment of people with disabilities fell by -4,751 (-3%).
  • Women’s health services also dropped -16,128 (-24.6%).

Missouri’s Medicaid enrollment peaked in 2017 at near 1 million. But the current number of 858,077 is the lowest enrollment seen in the state since September 2014.

Read more about this critical issue here, and why advocates believe enrollment is falling so dramatically:

  • From St. Louis Public Radio – Kids In Missouri Are Losing Health Insurance At The Second Highest Rate In The Nation
  • From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Timothy D. McBride: Why have so many Missouri children lost Medicaid coverage?

Missouri CAN will continue to keep you apprised of this very concerning situation. If you have immediate questions, please contact  Jessica Hoey , Missouri CAN Director of Public Affairs and Community Engagement.
Another Attack Against SNAP:
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

On July 23, the USDA announced that it is seeking comment on a new proposal that would limit access to SNAP benefits for an estimated 3 million Americans, based on income limits and other assets. This is just the latest proposal in a series that aims to take SNAP benefits away from those who need it most. Read the full details here:

  • From The Washington Post – Trump proposal would push 3 million Americans off food stamps
  • From NPR – 3 Million Could Lose Food Stamp Benefits Under Trump Administration Proposal

A comment period of 60 days opened on July 24, allowing groups to weigh in about the proposed changes. As with past attempts to limit access to SNAP, Missouri CAN will likely submit comments to the Federal Register based on template language provided by national groups. 
Network Capacity - Helping you help others
2020 Census: Let's Help Make Everyone Count

As you’ve likely heard by now, the National Community Action Partnership has received funding to:

  • Educate and increase awareness of the Census throughout our national Community Action Network;
  • Activate and mobilize the Network to take action;
  • Curate and generate Census resources specific to Community Action; and
  • Equip agencies to conduct effective local outreach efforts.

Be sure to check out the  Census information and resources on the Partnership website for ways you and your agency can get involved. And while you’re there, make sure to  sign up to receive email alerts about Census activity and resources!
We Want Your Feedback!
Missouri CAN Training and Technical Assistance Survey

We want to hear from you! The annual training and technical assistance survey is crucial for Missouri CAN to plan just the right training, technical assistance, and leadership development efforts for you and your agency over the upcoming fiscal year. 

This survey is for every single agency staff member regardless of their department and takes mere minutes to complete. We have received a great response thus far, but are hoping to see representation from every person within the Network! We encourage you to complete the survey and forward the survey to other members of your agency in order to ensure they do the same.
SAVE THE DATE! Poverty Simulation Facilitator Training Opportunity

October 21-22, 2019 - Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel, St. Louis, MO
Come experience the Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) as a participant, plus learn tips and tricks to conduct a successful simulation. Registration will open Tuesday, August 13.

Early-bird registration for this event is $370. For every two attendees your organization registers, you can get the third registration half off. That's only $185 for your third registrant! If you are a current employee of a Missouri Community Action Agency, there will be no cost for this training if you register before the early-bird deadline.
Missouri CAN Capacity - Helping us help you
Upcoming Events for Missouri Community Action Network
Recent Agency Visits
Dawna Fogarty visited Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation on July 9 to discuss the ins and outs of DOL funding with agency staff.

Andrea Davis provided Case Management 201 training to 17 individuals from Missouri Valley Community Action Agency on July 24.
Let's stay connected! E-mail Us | Missouri CAN |(573) 634-2969