Network Connection
August 2020
Greetings Missouri Community Action Network,  
There have been numerous pivotal moments for our nation and our state this year, with another of those occurring on August 4 once all votes were cast in the Missouri Primary Election. Voters passed a special ballot initiative that will amend the Missouri state constitution to expand Medicaid eligibility. Once enacted, Medicaid expansion will allow an estimated 230,000 Missourians with low incomes much-needed access to affordable healthcare with essential benefit coverage across 10 categories that have historically had limited or no coverage whatsoever. Some of those essential benefits include vital mental health and substance use disorder services, preventive screenings/well care, pediatric services with oral and vision, and prescription coverage.

For many who have received employer sponsored healthcare for the majority of their careers, this may not seem like monumental news. It is easy to take both one’s health and one’s unfettered access to care for granted when there hasn’t been health issues or significant barriers to receiving medical attention when needed. Don’t get me wrong, navigating insurance coverage and healthcare is hardly ever a breeze; but imagine being 56 years old and having always been a restaurant worker or having worked two or three part-time jobs that don’t offer insurance. For this person, the only healthcare they’ve known is the emergency room. Expanding Medicaid to individuals with low-wage jobs will be life-changing and lifesaving for so many of our citizens. 

I’ve heard firsthand the stories—and there are hundreds of thousands more—in Kentucky where Medicaid was expanded seven years ago. At my former CAA, a team of Health Benefit Assisters enrolled those who were eligible under the expansion into managed care plans. A 45-year-old woman named Patricia was one of our first enrollments and her story stands out vividly in my memory. She had been a Certified Nurse’s Aid for more than 25 years but had never qualified for healthcare coverage at the multiple nursing facilities where she always worked part-time. Patricia was enrolled in her first healthcare plan in her life at my former CAA and went to see the physician she chose from the list of covered providers. She’d had a lump in her breast for a while and was finally able to be seen for it. Patricia was diagnosed with breast cancer and put on an aggressive treatment plan. She was found to be cancer free after a year and came by our office to tell us the good news. Patricia told us the oncologist treating her kept saying the cancer had been diagnosed just in time. Had she not been able to enroll in health coverage through Medicaid expansion, she’d have not gone to get the lump even looked at, let alone been able to receive treatment for a disease that would have taken her life.  

There are hundreds of thousands of stories like Patricia’s in Kentucky and, I have to assume, in the other 36 states that chose to expand Medicaid, too. On August 4, Missouri became the 38th state to make the decision to improve the health and well-being of some of its most vulnerable, hard-working citizens. But let’s look beyond individual quality of life. Medicaid expansion has a high return on investment as it improves states' overall health outcomes and economies. Expanded Medicaid eventually creates a healthier workforce, which means improved work attendance, improved production, increased revenues for existing businesses, new job creation, and more importantly, it allows for job retention as it becomes a payer source for hospitals. The uncompensated care dollars are drastically reduced, and hospitals can recoup money for services, as they can now bill Medicaid for care that would have been otherwise lost revenue. 

I always think about our True North in Community Actionfor me, it is changing lives and improving communities. Supporting Medicaid expansion and offering to play a role in the delivery of that service is one of the best and most efficient ways we in Community Action can change lives and improve our communities. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this truly momentous and pivotal time in the health and well-being of our state and our fellow Missourians, and I hope you are too!  
Dawna Fogarty
Executive Director, Missouri CAN
Network Capacity - Helping you help others
Did You Miss the Live (Virtual) Training?
New Learning Resources on Missouri CAN University

If you missed our recent trainings, you are in luck! Three of our recent virtual trainings were recorded and are now available to re-watch through Missouri CAN’s Moodle portal. 

Log into your Missouri CAN Moodle account to find these new trainings:  

  • Facilitating Behavioral Change Through Motivational Interviewing and Mass Media 

  • Community Needs Assessment Design and Marketing 

  • Human Capacity and Community Transformation 

  • Click on “Courses,” then scroll down to the relevant section and open the listed course name. 

  • Click on this new content, select the blue “Enroll Me” tab at the bottom of the screen, and view the video as many times as you would like! 
Motivational Interviewing Tips and Tricks

More than 70 CAA staff participated in our two-day Motivational Interviewing virtual training! We are excited for the new skills you are learning and taking back to your agencies. As you develop your Motivational Interviewing skills, use the following articles as reference and refreshers to the training material: 

Review the OARS Method 
You can use the OARS method to help individuals recognize the need for and work toward change in their lives. This article from Homeless Hub is a good review of the basic interaction techniques and skills used in the Motivational Interviewing approach.  

The acronym DARN CAT is used as a mnemonic to describe various types of change talk in Motivational Interviewing. This article from the Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions (IRETA) provides an explanation of the DARN CAT method for mobilizing change talk and creating a plan of action. You’ll also find helpful examples and tips to consider.  
For Supervisors and Leadership Team Members

Did you know? You can apply Motivational Interviewing techniques as you supervise and coach your staff. This short video from the Brown School at Washington University highlights ways to incorporate the person-centered approach of Motivational Interviewing for staff development.   
We Want to Hear from You!
Have You Completed the TTA Survey?

As we plan leadership, training, and technical assistance opportunities for the 2021 fiscal year, we want information about your training needs. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey and give us your opinions. We estimate the survey only to take five minutes of your time. 

This annual Missouri CAN Training and Technical Assistance Survey is vital as it informs the development and dissemination of curriculums, annual conference workshops, online courses, and other training opportunities that best match the interests and needs of the entire Network. 

But it’s not just for Missouri CAN members! We want feedback from all staff at Missouri CAAs. 

The feedback we receive from this survey directly impacts the creation and dissemination of training and technical assistance opportunities through Missouri CAN for your agency. The survey closes August 31, so don’t delay--give us your feedback today! 

You are the Missouri Community Action Network, and your voice is essential. Thanks in advance for your help! 
Congratulations 2020 CCAPs!

We have several new Certified Community Action Professionals across our Network this year. Congratulations on this achievement!

Kelly Johnson - SCMCAA 
Whitney Lanning - CAPSTJOE 
Karrie Maag - CAPNEMO 
Tiffany Minnis - DAEOC 
Richard E. Reinbott - CAASTLC 
Chris Small - CAPNCM 
Update: Poverty Simulation Trainings

Thank you to everyone who completed our recent survey regarding our fall CAPS Facilitator Training. We appreciate your feedback! 

Missouri CAN's fall CAPS Facilitator Training was originally scheduled for October 19-20, 2020 in St. Louis, MO. Due to COVID-19 and responses we received in the survey, we intend to reschedule this training for October 18-19, 2021. More information will be made available over the next several months.  

To meet the training needs of our kit licensees, Missouri CAN developed and launched CAPS Virtual Facilitator Training in 2018. Due to the current travel restrictions, these trainings may be an excellent option for your organization.  
Our virtual facilitator training is a three-hour training through the Zoom platform. It covers many of the same topics our Missouri and onsite trainings cover, including:
  • a brief history of CAPS,  
  • scholarly research that has been conducted about the simulation,  
  • methodologies and frameworks used to develop CAPS,  
  • an overview of the simulation,  
  • how to plan for a simulation,  
  • and facilitating the experience and the debrief. 

Anyone who participates in a virtual CAPS Facilitator Training must have participated in a Community Action Poverty Simulation as a family member prior to participating in the training. 

For more information about our virtual facilitator training or any other questions you may have related to CAPS, please contact Evan Melkersman.

Thank you for your investment in CAPS and for using it as a tool to reduce poverty barriers in your community! 
Advocacy - A voice for low-income Missourians
U.S. Census Count Cut Short

The U.S. Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census on September 30, a month sooner than previously announced, the bureau’s director confirmed Monday in a statement. That includes critical door-knocking efforts and collecting responses online, over the phone and by mail. This is highly concerning, as it will likely result in many hard-to-count populations being excluded from the decennial census – including hundreds, if not thousands, served by Community Action Agencies around the state. 

NPR reports that approximately four of 10 households nationwide have still not participated in the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the U.S., and self-response rates are even lower in many communities. Check out Missouri’s census response rate here
What can your agency do? 

  • Make sure your customers know how to complete the census and by when they need to complete it. 
  • Get census information and resources from the National Community Action Partnership to make the most of the count.  
  • Join the partnership for an open forum about census efforts on August 20 at 2 pm Central. Register for the webinar here.  
Medicaid Expansion Passes in Missouri

On Tuesday, August 4, Missourians voted to expand Medicaid throughout the state, with 53% of voters supporting Amendment 2. This vote makes Missouri the 38th state to expand Medicaid and allows adults between the ages of 19 and 65 whose income is at or below 138% of the federal poverty level to qualify for coverage. In 2020, that amounts to $17,608 for an individual and $36,156 for a household of four. 

The Washington University-based Center for Health Economics and Policy found that Missouri would save $39 million per year by expanding Medicaid. Overall, the passage of Amendment 2 is outstanding news for many low-income Missourians, including customers served by Community Action Agencies. 

For more details about the impact of this vote, read this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  
Extraordinary Legislative Session on Violent Crime

Missouri’s lawmakers returned to the state capitol on Monday, July 27 to begin a special legislative session dedicated to violent crime, at Governor Parson’s request. While the items included in the governor’s “call” do not relate to our Network’s policy priorities, Missouri CAN is monitoring progress of the special session to determine if we need to take any action. 
H.R. 7328 - The CSBG Enhancement Act

The $1 billion dollars NCAF secured for CSBG in the CARES Act left three issues unaddressed: 

  1. 200% eligibility for CSBG in FY2020 regular CSBG appropriations; 
  2. Timely disbursement by the states of CSBG funding to local grantees; and  
  3. Distribution formula as it applied to the small states (this does not include Missouri). 

To address these issues, the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) has worked with U.S. House members to draft a standalone bill focused on “fixes” to the CSBG CARES Act dollars (H.R. 7328). Missouri CAN sent a letter to all U.S. House members in July, with a sign-on by all 19 of the state’s Community Action Agencies, asking Missouri’s congresspersons to co-sponsor H.R. 7328. 

To date, there are only 16 co-sponsors of this legislation, and none of them represent congresspersons from Missouri. It’s important for our nationwide network to amass dozens of co-sponsors from states across the nation, including ours. If you would like to assist with this advocacy initiative, please contact Jessica Hoey at Missouri CAN. 
The HEALS Act – An Update & Action Alert 
on the Next COVID-19 Stimulus Package 

Studies have shown that COVID-19 has nearly doubled food insecurity in the United States. Here in Missouri, a food bank in the southeast part of the state indicates that demand has increased by almost 30% due to the pandemic

Given this dire situation, Missouri CAN is focused on securing a 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the next supplemental package. The association is working with multiple other advocacy organizations to lobby for an increase in SNAP benefits with staffers from both Senator Blunt’s and Senator Hawley’s offices. Unfortunately, the initial version of the HEALS Act does not include a 15% bump in SNAP. However, negotiations continue on this legislation, so Missouri CAN has maintained advocacy and policy efforts with our statewide food and nutrition partners. 

We encourage Missouri’s Community Action Agencies to contact our state’s U.S. senators to ask for a 15% increase in SNAP benefits in the next stimulus package: 

Senator Blunt: (202) 224-5721 
Senator Hawley: (202) 224-6154 

For detailed information about the HEALS Act – as it compares to the HEROES Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May – check out this chart from the National Community Action Partnership. 

The Partnership has also issued an action alert with detailed information about what to say when you contact your federal legislators. Find that script here, and contact Jessica Hoey at Missouri CAN with any questions.
It’s important to note that contacting senators about this legislation on your work time is considered lobbying activity, which is prohibited for employees that are fully funded by government sources. Please check with your agency’s leadership prior to engaging in lobbying activity on work time. 
Missouri CAN Capacity - Helping us help you
Important Update: Missouri CAN At-Large Board Election
As a member of Missouri CAN, you should have received a 2020 At-Large Board election packet in the mail in July. Please discard the election packet you received in the mail. 

The Missouri CAN bylaws state that an election is only held if more than 10 nominations for the 10 At-Large Board seats are received. 

One nominee has withdrawn from the election. With 10 remaining nominees, no election is required. The 10 nominees will automatically be seated at the November Missouri CAN Board of Directors meeting. 

Thank you for your membership and dedication to Missouri CAN, and congratulations to the nominees on the forthcoming appointment to the Missouri CAN Board of Directors! 

If you have any questions, please contact Administrative Assistant and Membership Coordinator Daniel Klote.
Upcoming Meetings
We continue to pivot our trainings and meetings to virtual spaces. Stay up to date on the schedule of virtual meeting dates online.
Missouri Community Action Network Operations
and COVID-19 Resources
As the statewide association for Community Action, we're dedicated to keeping you informed of developments relevant to serving low-income Missourians. We continue to update this resource regularly with advocacy updates, information on CAA operations across the state, guidance from federal partners, and more.
Community Action Agency Stories - Sharing Your Successes and Innovative Programs
New Community Loan Center Open with SEED$ 

Southeast Economic Development Fund, Inc. (SEED$), an affiliate of East Missouri Action Agency, recently launched an employer-based small-dollar loan program: Community Loan Center of Southeast Missouri.  

Missouri has minimal regulation for short-term loans, which allows many lenders to charge exorbitant lending fees—sometimes 463% of the original loan amount. Studies show many working Americans don’t have the financial savings to cover major unexpected expenses such as car repairs or medical expenses. People in these situations often have no alternative to these predatory short-term lenders. 

The new program from SEED$ provides an innovative alternative: affordable small loans. The program provides employees of participating businesses options to borrow money for unexpected expenses at affordable rates. To learn more about this new program, visit
Share Your Successes With Us!

How has your agency innovated with programs due to COVID-19? We're assembling stories from all 19 Missouri CAAs to share with legislators, partner organizations, and the general public. We want to show the world how Community Action is helping people and changing lives during this pandemic.
Let's stay connected! E-mail Us | Missouri CAN |(573) 634-2969