Statewide Community Needs Assessment Released

February 7, 2022


Maine Community Action Partnership (MeCAP) and Maine’s ten Community Action Agencies have released the 2021 Community Needs Assessment. This systematic data-driven report that takes a closer look into the behaviors and needs of the residents of Maine outlines the top issues facing Maine families and individuals. Maine is the first state in the nation to successfully complete a statewide community needs assessment and MeCAP is eager to share the findings as community action agencies across the state prepare for the future.

The broad purpose of Maine’s Community Action Programs, including the work of Community Concepts, is to eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty. This newly released report describes the fundamental economic challenges facing Mainers. For the first time in MeCAP history, the data and interviews provide a good comparative look at these challenges across the state and up-close issues by region.

“While our state may look different region to region, urban and rural, the issues Maine’s residents face create similar challenges that keep them trapped in poverty,” according to Shawn Yardley, CEO of Community Concepts headquartered in Lewiston. “As our economy continues to change, more people are living on the edge, especially those impacted by systemic racism, ageism and other forms of prejudice. This comprehensive statewide assessment validates what we are finding across Western Maine as we deliver services designed to assist families in their efforts to escape the grasp of poverty.”

The assessment was conducted by MeCAP in partnership with Crescendo Consulting Group. The 357 page report includes a broad overview of MeCAP and Maine’s ten community action agencies, describes the approaches and methodology used in the report, and identifies themes and high-level action areas. The report prioritized recommendations for the state as a whole and each individual region. After completing a needs prioritization process, the report identifies the five top statewide needs as:

  1. Safe, affordable housing
  2. Affordable, quality childcare
  3. Ending the cycle of generational poverty
  4. Holistic person-centered health care
  5. Transportation

The summary and full report can be found on the MeCAP website at:

For a closer look at the results for the regions served by Community Concepts, click here.


About Maine Community Action Partnership

Maine Community Action Partnership (MeCAP) is a statewide organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of Maine citizens by advocating for, enhancing and supporting the work of Maine CAAs. Each of Maine’s ten CAAs is rooted in the communities within which it serves, collectively touching the lives of approximately 140,000 clients. Each individual CAA has developed a mission statement and program focus areas specific to its organization and service area through community needs assessments. The unifying thread weaving the CAAs together is the strategic effort to improve the quality of life, health and economic circumstances of Maine’s most vulnerable citizens — specifically targeting Maine’s low and very low-income people.