How ACAP makes a difference in The County

"People there are excellent they're not there to hurt they are there to help."

Barney Dodd says he doesn't know where he would be if it hadn't been for ACAP.

"I was living at the homeless shelter she come in and I ended up being her client."

Heidi Rackliffe is a case manager and Licensed Social Worker at ACAP.

"Often times when I run into folks they are kind of at a really difficult part in their life so my job and my place of employment gives me the ability to really see them in that situation and show them the hope and what their life can be."

That's exactly what she did with Dodd.

"I needed help with my rent, I needed help with all my paperwork for social security and other things like that so she's helped me through the years."

Dodd couldn't read or write, so having the help from Rackliffe made the world of a difference in accessing the services he needed.

"She's helped me on different organizations that I had no idea that I could have help with, she called me up and said there's a dental clinic in Fort Fairfield where you can get all your bad teeth out of your head and I said okay."

National Community Action Month in May was created by the Community Action Partnership to reinforce Community Action agencies' role in helping people achieve economic stability.

"I think community action month is twofold, one it's an opportunity to celebrate the movement that is community action that started back in the 60s under the Kennedy administration and the Johnson administration and the war on poverty. I think the true spirit of community action month is the work that actually happens in the communities."

The Aroostook County Action Program assists people with everything from community health, workforce development, energy and housing, early care and education and more.

"It's about helping someone through the very beginning stages of life all the way up to senior population and making them thrive, so it's about meeting basic needs for an individual so they have the ability to succeed."

Dodd says he feels that with the help from ACAP he's been able to succeed. He says this organization is a vital part of the community.

"It would set this county back probably 75-100 years and help for the people because before this organization came into being there was hardly any help for anybody out there."

Rackliffe is just one of 150 ACAP employees that assist people throughout the county.