York County Community Action Corp.

aka YCCAC   |   Sanford, ME   |  www.yccac.org

Mission

The mission of York County Community Action Corporation is to alleviate the effects of poverty, attack its underlying causes, and to promote the dignity and self-sufficiency of the people of York County, Maine.

Notes from the nonprofit

A single mother with two small children struggles to pay her utility bills. She schedules an appointment with an Energy Services worker and gets assistance to keep her electricity on. An elderly man needs a ride to his weekly cancer care. He contacts the Transportation program and arranges to have a driver pick him up and bring him home each week. A young couple with an infant and another child on the way can’t afford to buy the groceries they need. They enroll in the WIC program and receive monthly food vouchers that can be used to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and milk. A family whose income has been severely cut by the loss of a job is at risk of losing their home to foreclosure. A meeting is scheduled with a foreclosure prevention specialist, and through mediation with the lender a mortgage modification is arranged.

People come to York County Community Action for many different reasons and under various circumstances. Whatever the reason, people come to us because they believe that the answer to their problem or situation begins at a place where solutions can be found—a place where empowerment lives.

Empowerment at York County Community Action starts with a vision of cultivating safe, self-sufficient communities. We see families able to meet their basic needs each day. We see schools full of safe children who flourish and excel academically. We see adults who aggressively protect the value and lives of children. We see seniors as stewards of wisdom giving back to the community in meaningful ways. We see individuals pulled in from the margins of life and restored back to confidence and hope.

Our aim, as ever, is to offer solutions, and to provide tools for empowerment to those in need.

Ruling year info

1968

Executive Director

Barbara Crider

Deputy Director

Carter Friend

Main address

6 Spruce Street PO Box 72

Sanford, ME 04073 USA

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EIN

01-6020406

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Transportation (Free or Subsidized) (P52)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Children's Services

YCCAC’s Children’s Services Department consists of our Head Start and Early Head Start (HS/EHS) programs. Together, these programs provide comprehensive early childhood education for children from birth to age five. HS/EHS promote children’s school-readiness of children enrolled in the program by engaging them in activities that support their developmental growth within the following domains:
• Language and literacy
• Cognition and general knowledge
• Physical development and health
• Social and emotional development
• Approaches to learning

What sets Head Start apart from other child care and early education programs is its whole-family approach, which emphasizes the critical role parents play as their child’s first and most important teacher. HS/EHS works with families to obtain the resources they need to meet basic needs (e.g. housing, food, clothing and health care), and help them achieve their self-defined goals in areas such as financial security, continued education or training and/or viable employment. To that end, Children’s Services began offering EHS with a child care component for up-to ten hours of care per day to support parents’ abilities to work full-time and various shifts. Ongoing child and family services work to support families’ wellbeing, encourage positive parent-child relationships, and help families build connections to their peers and communities.

Population(s) Served

The Women, Infants & Children program, typically known as "WIC,” provides supplemental nutrition support, vouchers to purchase healthy foods, and health checks for low-income families with children under the age of five, and pregnant women. Services offered by YCCAC’s WIC program include health screenings and referrals for children and parents, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding supportive services and coaching, and vouchers to help families purchase healthy foods at the grocery store or local farmers’ markets.

Average monthly caseload FY 2016: 2,716
Number of WIC permanent sites and clinics: 6

Nutrition Education & Counseling
WIC ensures enrolled families have up-to-date information regarding health and nutrition for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and women (prenatal and perinatal). Participants can learn tips on healthy pregnancy, ways to prepare healthy foods through demonstrations and recipes, as well as one-on-one nutrition counseling provided by a Certified Nutrition Counselor. YCCAC’s WIC program is led by a registered dietician with many years of experience with the program. WIC provides resources and materials for additional information as well as online learning opportunities to compliment participants’ conversations with their Nutrition Counselor.

Supplemental Foods
Foods chosen and provided by WIC are designed to supplement participants’ (women’s and children’s) diets with specific, key nutrients. Foods include infant and adult cereal, fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C, juice, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, beans and fish.


Breastfeeding Support
WIC promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for infants. To encourage new mothers to breastfeed, WIC offers a variety of supports, including information and education, Breastfeeding Peer Counselors for one-on-one support, breast pumps, and enhanced food packages for mothers who are breastfeeding.

Population(s) Served

The YCCAC Energy Services program administers several federally-funded assistance programs. The most commonly known program, LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program), is also this Department's largest, and during the 2015-16 "fuel season,” Energy Services processed over 5,000 applications for this benefit. For households whose applications were approved, the funds were distributed directly to the consumer’s chosen fuel vendor. This past year, Energy Services began conducting the majority of LIHEAP appointments in order to make this benefit more accessible to households from York County’s most rural areas, as well as households for whom transportation was a barrier.

Energy Services also administers the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP), which provides emergency financial assistance for home heating emergencies, including utility disconnects if the household’s heating system requires electricity to function. In 2016, more than $113,000.00 was provided in ECIP funds; the average household benefit was $538.00.

Finally, Energy Services is responsible for administering LIAP: the Low Income Assistance Plan LIAP. LIAP helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for electricity costs by providing a credit on the consumer’s electric bill. The LIAP application is included in the LIHEAP application, and YCCAC contacts LIAP-eligible households to provide this additional assistance.

Population(s) Served

YCCAC's Transportation Department offers a range of transit options, which are open to the general public and equipped for people with disabilities. These include both public transportation and contracted/special service transport. It's programs serve to support local residents abilities to work or continue education, access medical visits and other important appointments, including cancer treatments, access local business, grocery stores and recreational activities, and to age in place be retaining independence and dignity.

Population(s) Served

YCCAC’s Department of Economic Opportunity (EO) provides a broad range of important services designed to support individuals and families to increase or retain assets (e.g. home, vehicle, savings, education and others) through homeownership education, foreclosure counseling and prevention services, financial coaching, free tax preparation, legal advocacy and opportunities for matched savings.

Recognizing that households’ capacity to achieve their financial goals depends, first, on having their underpinning basic needs—fuel, housing, food and safety—met, Economic Opportunity also offers options for emergency financial funds and other supports to stabilize households in crisis.

Economic Opportunity encompasses a number of programs, including:
• Community Outreach
• York County CA$H Campaign
• Access to Justice
• A Place for Us
• Thriving in Place
• Homeownership Education & Counseling
• Foreclosure Prevention Services

Population(s) Served

YCCAC is one of approximately thirty Community Action Programs in the nation to also be a Federally Qualified Health Center. This unique capacity allows YCCAC to be a leader in the integration of Social Determinants of Health data with Nasson’s delivery of medical, dental and behavioral health care. We understand that clinical interventions may only go so far when a patient goes home to an unstable or unhealthy living situation, poor environment, bare refrigerator or empty fuel tank. Nasson is a Patient-Centered Medical Home recognized by the National Center on Quality Assurance.

Nasson Health Care is located in Springvale, and operates satellite locations in Alfred, the student health center at Noble High School in North Berwick and at Maine Behavioral Healthcare facilities in Springvale and Biddeford.

Population(s) Served

York County Community Action Corporation is seeking to open an Intergenerational Learning Center in Sanford that would combine high-quality child care and early intervention support with adult day services for seniors. Over the past decade, this unique approach to care has been gaining momentum across the country for its broad range of benefits to both seniors and children, including its effectiveness at addressing social determinants of health for seniors and its educational benefits for children. This center would be the first of its kind in Maine.

The creation of an Intergenerational Learning Center would serve as an innovative resource and activity hub, one that would alleviate the serious local need for adult day services (care) and child care services in the greater Sanford area. Through a successful capital campaign, YCCAC will raise the funds necessary to develop the Center without debt, creating a self-sustaining program for years to come.

Population(s) Served

The Community Outreach arm of Economic Opportunity has been a cornerstone of YCCAC’s provision of social and supportive services nearly since the agency’s inception in 1965. Outreach often serves as the first door our clients come through. Outreach Workers use motivational interviewing techniques to assess each household’s most pressing need(s) at that time, and work with them to get that need met. Outreach provides emergency financial assistance, assistance with completing forms and applying for various benefits, and providing advocacy for the client, as well as a variety of other services based on the particular set of circumstances and concerns presented by the client/household. Once the household has been stabilized, the Outreach Worker will continue to work with its members to develop SMART goals and action plans to achieve long-term financial security.

Population(s) Served

York County CA$H (Creating Assets Savings and Hope)provides services designed to support households’ financial capability and capacity to obtain or increase assets.

Free Tax Preparation & EITC
In April 2017, YC CA$H completed its fifteenth year providing free tax preparation for York County residents. Through partnerships with the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) and AARP, CA$H harnesses the energy and dedication of a team of volunteer tax preparers who undergo 80 hours of training and complete a 3-hour certification exam to provide these volunteer services.

Half of the filers YCCAC served in 2015-16 were eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Of all VITA sites in Maine, YCCAC serves the highest proportion of EITC-eligible consumers by a wide margin. The EITC has been heralded as the single most-effective anti-poverty program in the nation. In Maine, the EITC alone was responsible for keeping roughly 20,000 people out of poverty between 2011 and 2013 (Brookings Institute, 2014). The average EITC credit for YCCAC’s free tax prep recipients in 2016 was $1,774, totaling $324,686.

Financial Coaching
YC CA$H operates a volunteer financial coaching program, the Financial Opportunity Corps, that provides one-on-one financial coaching over a six-month period. Additionally, a number of staff members are trained and offered ongoing technical support to be Opportunity Coaches during tax season. Nearly all tax prep recipients met with an Opportunity Coach in 2016 to develop personal financial goals and action steps, prior to attending their free tax prep appointments.

Family Development Accounts & Matched Savings
YCCAC administers the federal Family Development Account (FDA) program, which provides a 4:1 match on savings participants put in toward obtaining higher education or training, opening a small business or home purchase. FDA monies may also pay for critical vehicle repairs or a new vehicle to obtain or keep a job.

Financial Coaching
YC CA$H operates a volunteer financial coaching program, the Financial Opportunity Corps, that provides one-on-one financial coaching over a six-month period. Additionally, a number of staff members are trained and offered ongoing technical support to be Opportunity Coaches during tax season. Nearly all tax prep recipients met with an Opportunity Coach in 2016 to develop personal financial goals and action steps, prior to attending their free tax prep appointments.

Family Development Accounts
YCCAC administers the federal Family Development Account (FDA) program, which provides a 4:1 match on savings participants put in toward obtaining higher education or training, opening a small business or home purchase. FDA monies may also pay for critical vehicle repairs or a new vehicle to obtain or keep a job.

Population(s) Served

Access to Justice is YCCAC’s legal advocacy program, which offers assistance to individuals who are representing themselves in family law matters. Our objectives are to assure self-representing litigants have the information, assistance and advocacy they need to have a productive experience in the judicial system, and to help participants move forward through court proceedings with the confidence and general understanding to advocate for themselves during what can be an intimidating experience.
Currently, Access to Justice is only providing assistance with guardianship cases. YCCAC additionally provides notary services at no cost.

Population(s) Served

Thriving in Place—or, "TiP”—is a grant-funded initiative that aims to support people with chronic conditions—including York County’s elder population and persons with disabilities—maintain or improve their health so they may remain independent and safe in their homes and communities. To promote this objective, TiP brings together health care, social and community services to coordinate, streamline and improve their effectiveness to meet the needs of elder and disabled community members. These efforts are supported by a broad Volunteer Network providing a number of "on the ground” services, like home repairs, garden work, snow shoveling and other important services.

TiP is grounded in the founding principle of Community Action—to empower residents to take charge in planning initiatives that affect their lives. Our approach is responsive to the needs identified by consumers and caregivers, some of whom sit on the program’s Consumer Advisory Committee. YCCAC and its impressive team of partners first took on this challenge in 2013, and, following a robust 18-month planning period began to implement various social, clinical, and public-educational interventions to keep our community members connected and supported to thrive through all stages of life.

Population(s) Served

As part of our mission to assist families to achieve greater financial independence, YCCAC offers A Place for Us, which combines affordable, transitional housing opportunities with ongoing case management and prosperity coaching. YCCAC owns and manages six apartments in Sanford-Springvale, in which eligible families may live for up to two years, as units are available. While in residence, each household may benefit from low-cost housing, while working toward the achievement of their own self-defined goals. Each household works one-on-one with an Outreach Worker, who acts as case manager and coach, to encourage and support these families in transition.

Population(s) Served

Children’s core school-readiness skills grow rapidly during preschool. Head Start provides early childhood education for preschool-aged children (ages 3 to 5 years) along with whole-family supports to ensure families’ needs are met and parents are prepared to engage in their children’s education and development.

Head Start leverages new and cutting-edge technologies to enhance children’s learning experiences in the classroom. In 2016, Head Start incorporated the use of smart tables into the classroom environment, which adapt to children’s unique strengths and target areas for improvement through games and group activities that engage their minds and creativity.

At ten center-based locations throughout York County, including 4 sites operated in partnership with local school departments, Head Start works with families and children to ensure they reach developmental and cognitive benchmarks to enter kindergarten school-ready.

Population(s) Served

Early Head Start offers early childhood education and whole-family supportive services to infants and toddlers (from birth to 3 years), as well as pregnant women. EHS classrooms support children’s early social-emotional, physical and cognitive development to set them on the best path to school-readiness.

To support parents who are working full time or pursuing higher education, EHS operates classrooms in Sanford and Biddeford that offer an additional child care component to daily services, operating up to ten hours per day depending on the needs of families. In addition, EHS helps connect families with supportive services, including transportation, that enable parents to access employment, training and education opportunities that better their likelihood of long-term financial security.

Population(s) Served

Sanford Transit is a program of the Transportation Department, which provides daily transportation from central Springvale to South Sanford. With stops at medical practices, assisted living facilities, the YMCA and Trafton Center, the post office and a number of local retailers, grocery stores and restaurants, Sanford Transit provides a lifeline to residents throughout the community who do not have access to a vehicle or are no longer able to drive themselves. On a monthly basis, Sanford Transit makes approximately 1,100 stops at local destinations.

Population(s) Served

Wheels to Access Vocation and Education, better known as the WAVE has been connecting Sanford residents to essential economic opportunities—employment, education and training—since 1999. At its most basic level, transportation is about access; in the Sanford region, the flexibility and reliability of the WAVE is a linchpin that enables residents to work in industries that offer good wages and opportunities for growth and professional development.

Population(s) Served

There are a number of factors to consider when preparing to purchase a home. YCCAC offers pre- and post-purchase counselling to assist homebuyers with the process to purchase a home. YCCAC offers one-one-one counseling with a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor who works with individuals/households to explore options and assess potential challenges throughout the home-buying process. The Counselor helps the household determine the best mortgage options to meet its needs, provides support and advocacy to mitigate or remove barriers, reviews credit reports, assists with developing a household budget, and informs the household of predatory lending practices and ways to avoid them.

Through post-purchase counseling, the Counselor assists households to maintain their mortgage payments and budgets, and help the household to continue building equity.

Population(s) Served

On a monthly basis, YCCAC offers a 10-hour Homebuyer Education class that provides honest, accurate information concerning homeownership, and prepares individuals and families for the process to purchase a home. Participants who complete the class earn a Certificate of Completion that is required by MaineHousing, USDA Rural Development, and other lenders who offer lo down-payment mortgage options. In addition to in-person classes, YCCAC offers the eHome America Homebuyer Class, which may be completed by participants online.

Population(s) Served

YCCAC is a HUD-certified Housing Counseling Agency, offering free counselling services to help households in crisis avoid foreclosure, or to achieve the most positive financial outcome if foreclosure is unavoidable. The Counselor works one-on-one with each household to provide options, regardless of the household’s situation and the contributing factors. All counseling sessions are free of charge and completely confidential. The Housing Counselor the household understand the foreclosure process, and offer guidance with foreclosure mediation, and/or negotiations with the lender.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Accreditations

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Housing Counseling Agency Certification 2006

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 1965

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

YCCAC aspires to achieve for our neighbors and communities, the vision set forth in the Preamble to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964:

York County Community Action Corporation has undergone—and continues to undergo—changes to improve its ability to deliver services to all clients, and to be as efficient and effective in our goals as possible.

Over the past fiscal year (2015/16), YCCAC established a program called Economic Opportunity, which oversees Community Outreach (Social Work/Case Management),York County CA$H (Creating Assets Savings & Hope), A Place for Us (formerly Pathways to Prosperity), and Access to Justice (Legal Advocacy). The Economic Opportunity program has been successful in integrating all YCCAC programs, so that clients are better served and YCCAC resources are used efficiently and to their best effect.

Our Children's Services program, which includes Head Start and Early Head Start, has expanded to new locations—Saco and Old Orchard Beach. There are now Head Start sites in nine (9) York County towns and cities (Biddeford, Buxton, Kittery, Lyman, North Berwick, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Sanford and Waterboro), with a new total of 22 classrooms.

Nasson Health Care, our Health Services program, has expanded, with sites now in Biddeford, North Berwick, Alfred and Springvale. The North Berwick clinic is located at Noble High School, and is a collaborative effort between Nasson Health Care and Maine School Administrative District 60.

Women, Infant & Children, commonly called WIC, relocated its office in Limerick this year to better serve a growing need. The WIC program has six (6) clinic sites: Sanford, Biddeford, Kittery, Limerick, South Berwick, and Buxton.

In Energy Services, we introduced an easy and efficient way for LIHEAP clients to complete their applications—by phone.

In August, previous LIHEAP clients were notified by postcard of a date and time-range for a phone call from a LIHEAP Intake Specialist. The phone call took no more than 15 minutes, and the completed application was then mailed to the client, for review and signature. The client then returned the signed application—by mail or in person—and any outstanding documentation (e.g., electric bill, pay stubs) to the YCCAC Energy Services Department, in Sanford. It was that simple!

In addition, Energy Services has made an outreach to residents of Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach this year, with the expectation of reaching a significant number of residents who may be eligible for LIHEAP benefits but had never applied.

York County Community Action Corporation is on solid financial footing. Our programs are expanding, to provide better services to a body of individuals and families throughout York County, As noted in the “strategies" section of this report, we have instituted changes within the organization to make our programs more efficient, and to better utilize the our available resources.

Over the past two years, we have had several program directors retire. This has allowed us the opportunity to replace the leadership positions of Children's Services, Transportation, and Economic Opportunity (formerly known as Community Outreach), with new staff. These new leaders come to YCCAC with “fresh eyes," which allows for new perspectives on how to approach issues for better results, how to address problems from different angles, how to . . . “see" things that we may not have seen before. New leaders bring fresh ideas, creativity, and enthusiasm finding new ways to reach solutions.

In addition, we have created two new positions within the agency: Operations/Special Initiatives Manager, and Volunteer Coordinator. The Operations/Special Initiatives Manager has undertaken an extensive study of space usage at our main office complex in Sanford, and has made changes to office use to better serve our clients and our agency. (For example: All staff who do not work directly with clients but instead serve in a supportive capacity have been relocated to offices away from the main entry; YCCAC staff who do see clients now occupy those offices. The clients are now better able to meet with the YCCAC staff quickly, and the staff can greet the clients and escort them to their offices only a short distance from the reception room.) The volunteer coordinator has assumed responsibility for fundraising activities and creating/maintaining a solid volunteer base for the agency.

Nasson Health Care—our Health Care program and the only Community Health Center in York County—now has offices in Springvale, North Berwick, Alfred and Biddeford. This expansion has made access to quality medical, dental and behavioral health services available to more York County residents of low or-no income than ever before. With a current patient volume of just over 3,500, our goal is to provide care for 6,000 York County residents over the next 3 to 5 years.

The program formerly known as Community Outreach is now named Economic Opportunity, and houses the Community Outreach program and Housing Services program. Outreach staff have been more evenly distributed throughout York County to provide residents of the Biddeford, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach areas greater ease at accessing the services provided by Community Outreach.

Head Start, after closing classrooms as a result of funding cuts in recent years, has at last begun to grow, opening new classrooms in Saco and Old Orchard Beach over the past two years. We hope to continue this growth into 2017 and beyond

We have accomplished a great deal in recent years, but there is still much to be done.

Better integration of services is an area that the Economic Opportunity director has worked on this year, and will continue to improve. Our WIC program is reaching out to day care centers, schools, hospitals, and other non-profits to promote healthy eating, breastfeeding, and access to food vouchers for eligible clients. Our Transportation program is seeking new areas of service, to provide access to medical care, school and job training, and shopping for those without means of transport.

We are constantly looking for ways to improve our level of service. Our clients are always our first priority, and serving them better—more efficiently, more effectively, and with the best possible outcome—is our challenge, and our reward.

Financials

York County Community Action Corp.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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York County Community Action Corp.

Board of directors
as of 5/11/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Claudette Dupee

Claudette Dupee

Donna Finneran

Don Burns

Lisa Carter

Grady Collins

Jane McCabe

Joan Nass

Isabelle Palin

Jenny Penney

David Wright

Laurence Adams

Nancy Phythyon

Betsy Kelly

David Dionne

Pat McLaughlin

Jean Walsh

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/11/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

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The organization's co-leader identifies as:

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Race & ethnicity

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Gender identity

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Sexual orientation

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Disability

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