Aroostook Community Matters - Aroostook County Action Program

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To find out more information on ACAP and the numerous support services/programs provided, visit:

https://www.acap-me.org/

https://www.facebook.com/acaparoostookcountyactionprogram/

Parent: "And that has really been the hallmark of our team, through this time is to be really flexible. And really engaged in how can we do and support this community in any way possible, during this difficult time."

Robert: The Aroostook County Action Program, a leader within our community, has a long history of helping individuals and families within the County. During the challenges of COVID-19, ACAP has continued to enhance their mission, in helping many who may be new to seeking out assistance and support.

Locke: "We're finding that we're working with folks who are calling us for the first time, unsure of exactly what they need and the services that we offer. But knowing that ACAP is a trusted resource in their community, and that they can feel safe to reach out and we can help make those connections for them."

Parent: "We estimated that -- and we have information that shows how we've served an additional 1000-plus people since the middle of March, that we hadn't served before."

Robert: ACAP follows a comprehensive service delivery approach in aiding the community. ACAP Navigators create individualized strategic plans, working alongside clients and families to identify specific goals to overcome challenges.

Chandler: "So we try to look at not only what is it that the person is coming to see us for today -- but how can we set them up for a successful future going forward."

Locke: "The Navigator piece has been something new and it really is working very well for clients to touch upon all of the areas that they need to be connected with. Whether it be an ongoing need or whether it just be resulting from layoff or reduction in hours from COVID-19."

Robert: Additionally a number of COVID-specific assistance and programs have been brought to the forefront in ACAP services and offerings.

Parent: "In the case of the Rental Assistance Program, which we've helped nearly 500 households throughout Aroostook County who are in a rental situation, with assistance to pay their rent either in the months of April, May or June."

Chandler: "Our workforce team has developed some online workshops to help those who are interested in education training or career development."

Locke: "We have provided over 55,000 meals here in Aroostook County, since the middle of March. And the piece that I love the most is that we were able to deliver those directly to the homes of the families."

Robert: It's important to remember that ACAP and its partner organizations are always there in support of the entire community. One simply has to take action, in reaching out.

Locke: "We are still here. We have been in this community for nearly 50 years -- meeting the needs of the community. And we really want to encourage anyone who needs our services to get in touch with us, in whatever way works best. So that we are able to help you through this time."

Chandler: "The importance of community action, we're the agency that helps bring people together. But really it's all of our responsibility to make sure that this work is being done."

Parent: "We are here for them. Other social service agencies are here for them as well -- to provide those supports. So when we talk about not going through this alone -- and not doing this alone -- and people say, well, we're asked to be socially distanced, and we're asked to stay at home, and things of that nature. That's what we mean -- that's what we mean in community action -- that's what we mean in social services. That we are here for folks."

Robert Grimm, News Source 8.

[Interviews:
--Jason Parent, Executive Director/CEO | ACAP;
--Jamie Chandler, Chief Operating Officer | ACAP;
--Sherry Locke, Development and Communications Manager | ACAP]

Aired: June 30, 2020