Maine’s Community Action Agencies Continue to Support Communities
Fri, Sep 25th, 2020
by DCP Staff
AUGUSTA – Maine Community Action Agencies across the state have been supporting renters and landlords with direct rent payments since April 2020. With funding from MaineHousing and the Department of Economic and Community Development, they will administer about $22 million in rental relief this year. While the end of this program is unfortunate, it has built bridges to Community Action programs (CAPs) that many Mainers never knew existed, and therefore enables the CAPs to continue to support the many people affected by the COVID pandemic.
“The silver lining to this terrible pandemic is that more people who were not asking for help while they were just getting by know about us now, and they can use our programs to help them find employment, weatherize their homes, join affordable child care, get help applying for health insurance; we have so much to offer” said Megan Hannan, Executive Director of Maine Community Action Partnership, the association of the ten Maine Community Action Agencies.
“We can help folks figure out what’s next, like helping pay for heating oil, electricity, wood or whatever heating systems people have, so they can save for rent. Renters who have heat included in their rent are also invited to apply for heating assistance,” she continued.
Community Action Agencies partner with MaineHousing for many programs, including Heating and Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), weatherization programs and this rental program. The agencies also administer other Federal and State programs including: Head Start / Early Head Start; Women, Infants and Children (WIC); medical and non-medical transportation; jobs training and many more. Downeast Community Partners (DCP) is the community action program serving Washington and Hancock counties.
“We appreciate the resources that MaineHousing and Governor Mills have put towards the rental program and encourage renters needing help to apply soon. I also hope that individuals and families who have never applied for heating assistance but may need it this year apply soon. The time between calling for an appointment and actually getting heating assistance can often be two months or more so an early application is an important first step” said Mark Green, Executive Director of DCP.
Responding to the pandemic that began in March, in addition to its normal programs, DCP has provided:
- 672 households with rental assistance,
- 490 grocery cards to people coping with food insecurity,
- 4038 meals to area families and elders,
- 125 families with food boxes,
- 1237 households with delivery of personal hygiene products, such as diapers,
- 1 van loaned to support caring for individuals with COVID19.
For more information about the rental assistance program, call DCP at 207-610-5927. For more information about the other programs offered by DCP, please call our main number, 207-664-2424. Alternatively, you may visit us online at www.downeastcommunitypartners.org.