Community Action News

June 2020
Community Action in a Pandemic
The Pandemic of Systematic, Continuous and Applied Racism
"Being an antiracist requires persistent
self-awareness, constant self-criticism and regular self-examination."

The horrific and tragic events that unfolded in Minneapolis, that mirror so many other injustices in communities across our nation, have further put racism at the forefront of national dialogue. At the same time, our world is reckoning with a pandemic for which there is currently no cure and affects people of color disproportionately. Already, COVID-19 has taken 100,000+ lives in the US and it has consumed millions more. We mourn for all who have been infected and affected by these dual and closely related crises. In a very short time, the pandemic has shifted everyone's reality and none of us will ever be the same.
While COVID-19 has unleashed a threat on the health and economy of our nation, it has also revealed a pre-existing condition that places all of us at greater risk. The hierarchy of human value and to be more specific, RACISM , has served as an activator that has accelerated the loss of life and disproportionate losses to important populations in our country. Persons of color, who are in many cases, workers with low incomes and live in places that were already struggling are suffering great physical, economic, and social harm.

Read more about what Community Action plans to do about rooting out policies and practices that allow for systemic racism and continued poverty.
At Nasson Health Care , the federally qualified health center run by York County Community Action Corp. , our health team will provide telephonic appointments whenever possible to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure for patients and staff. This includes all behavioral health appointments until further notice. In-person medical visits may be scheduled for patients who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., cough, fever and/or shortness of breath), and whose care cannot be effectively provided over the phon e. While Nasson’s dental clinic offered only emergency dental treatment beginning in mid-March, on June 5 th the clinic opened again for all dental and some hygiene appointments.

All persons who come to the health center are screened for high temperatures and other COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the health center waiting room. 
Remembering Oral Health
Aroostook County Action Program and partners have been busy coordinating efforts to ensure that children in Aroostook County receive dental kits. The 4,000 kits, to be distributed County-wide, include toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and information about the importance of preventative care at home and where to find emergency care during this pandemic. The comprehensive dental kits will be distributed though the school lunch programs throughout Aroostook County in an effort to reach children most in need. Local families should expect to see the dental kits available in their communities this week. The effort is part of a statewide initiative to ensure families can make ends meet during the pandemic.

The effort is part of a statewide initiative to ensure families can make ends meet during the pandemic. More than 100 organizations across Maine are working together to make sure that children won’t have to worry about having access to oral health supplies. Dental disease is the most common chronic disease among children and children living in poverty are at higher risk. 
COVID-19 Rental Assistance in Maine

Community Action Agencies:
  • Assisted over 6,000* renters with up to $500 for April, May or June rent payments directly to their landlords.
  • That rent totaled nearly $3 million*, helping individuals and families to stay safe at home.
  • Beginning in July, renters will have access to up to $1,200 per month for three months to help pay rent and / or utilities.

Contact your local CAA to see if you qualify and to apply, or go directly to MaineHousing to apply.

*through June 12, 2020
Your Response Matters

Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of your community.

Take just five minutes to visit 2020Census .gov , or call your local Community Action Agency for help. Every person in your household counts. It's safe, important, and the results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year.

Vote in July !

The State Primary Election has been moved to July 14, 2020, and officials are urging voters to vote absentee for safety. FMI and to request a ballot, visit the Bureau of Elections.
Policy Priorities 2020

The Maine Legislature adjourned early as a result of the coronavirus Stay at Home order, but our advocacy is not done. We work in collaboration with many other organizations, strengthening our impact by standing together.
  • Our advocacy starts with our littlest but very important customers, young children in childcare, Early Head Start, Head Start and Pre-K programs. We support the Children’s Cabinet Early Childhood Advisory Council, which sent this letter to the Appropriations Committee requesting some of the CARES COVID-01 relief funding be directed toward our early childhood education programs.
  • The Governor has created an Economic Recovery Committee, joining experts from several areas of economic drivers and across the state. Several workgroups will add to the final report, including one for healthcare, nonprofits, childcare & support services. If you have ideas they should consider, the staff is taking recommendations here. The meetings are public, so if you are interested is watching the full committee or small groups work, you can register here.

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