ROAD TO OPPORTUNITY:  FINDING THE WAY FORWARD
March 11, 2019
DID YOU KNOW: Poverty is a story of low wage work
  • 10%  Poverty Rate and 14% Child Poverty Rate in MA according to the Federal Poverty Line 
  • If you include those that are "near poor" (up to twice the Federal Poverty Rate):  22%  "Near Poor" and  27%  Children "Near Poor" in MA
  • Most low-income families (2/3 of those in poverty) include a working adult
  • For those not working, 3 out of 5 have small children at home or the adult has a disability.
  • Wages for low wage workers have barely grown over last 20 years while incomes for the top 1% have more than tripled
For more information and to access the data, "Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward" published in May 2018

Learn more! Watch our webinar feauring report author, Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director, MassBudget.
POLICY MATTERS: Quality Early Ed & Care Critical
The state support and funding for policies and programs that create opportunity is critical.  We are advocating for policies that strengthen families, bridge the wage gap, create economic opportunity and strengthen the human services infrastructure. 

Please join us in supporting these FY20 policies and line items that strengthen families through affordable and accessible early childhood education and care.
  • Increase Early Education Teacher Salaries ($24.5M)Educators need to make a living wage!
  • Increase Head Start ($15M): Need to serve more with this successful comprehensive early education and development program!
  • Increase Child Resources Referral Access Management ($9.6M): Need increase access to quality education and care.
Early Education and Care program prepare children for success in school and in life.  We must improve access to quality, affordable early education and care through recruitment and retention of good teachers, enhanced referral, improved facilities and support for Head Start, a comprehensive two generation early education program.

In addition to our early education and care priorities listed above, these include: state fuel assistance resources, a line item to strengthen communities and support Community Action Agencies, support for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites that help low income tax payers access the Earned Income Tax credit and homelessness prevention through support for homeless youth.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Head Start = A Great Start
Healthy nutrition is crucial for young children's immediate success, as well as for providing a solid ground for healthy growth and development throughout the course of their lifetime. Children enrolled in Worcester Community Action Council's Head Start program receive a nutritional breakfast, lunch and snack daily.

Beyond a comprehensive curriculum that strengthens children's literacy and development skills, Head Start also provides children with breakfast, lunch and a snack daily - served family style so that teachers and staff can model table manners, sharing and social interaction lessons, as well as healthy nutrition.

"Early childhood learning programs are important to the development of our children," said Alfredo Castelo, Fundación MAPFRE's  representative in the U.S. "Fundación MAPFRE is proud to support Head Start and help children in our local communities begin their day with a healthy meal."  Fundación MAPFRE gave WCAC a grant that will provide each of the 203 children enrolled in  WCAC's Head Start program the equivalent of 89 daily breakfasts.
CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION 
We urge you to support our budget request for $30M in MA state FY19 supplemental budget for fuel assistance.  Click here for more information about this request.   Visit  heatinghelpma.org for more information about fuel assistance and the agency serving your area.
 
We urge you to support the FY20 priorities so that together we can move forward on the road to opportunity.  Visit our Public Policy Priorities page for more information.
COMMUNITY ACTION IN MA

Our Mission
To strengthen and connect the statewide network of Community Action Agencies and collectively advocate for an end to poverty.

Our Vision
All MA residents will be able to meet their basic needs, access economic opportunities, build strong communities and move toward prosperity...

Find your Agency
There are 23 Community Action Agencies in Massachusetts serving virtually every city and town in the state.   To locate the agency in your area and learn more about the programs they offer,  click here .

Read our 2017 Annual Report
                                              #End PovertyMA