Foundation Awards $400,000 to Address Critical Needs for Maine Seniors

Foundation Awards $400,000 to Address Critical Needs for Maine Seniors

To advance its goal of making it possible for Maine seniors to age in place, the John T. Gorman Foundation recently awarded $400,000 to 17 organizations across the state. Made through the Foundation’s annual Direct Services Grant Program, these grants help address vital needs for seniors, including food insecurity, transportation, home repair, and companionship.

“With the oldest population in the country, Maine has special challenges to serving seniors and making it possible for them to age in their communities. This has become especially clear during the COVID-19 crisis. Seniors’ needs number no fewer, but the risks to their health and safety have greatly increased,” said John T. Gorman Foundation Program Associate Lauralee Raymond. “These funds will help our partners continue to deliver vital services to seniors while protecting their safety. We are extremely grateful for the work of these organizations during this very difficult time.”

Food Insecurity: Food insecurity impacts as much as 14% of Maine’s senior population. Grants to the state’s five Areas on Aging – each for $20,000 – support nutrition programs like Meals on Wheels that offer seniors both food and companionship.

Food insecurity impacts as much as 14% of Maine’s senior population. Grants to the state’s five Areas on Aging – each for $20,000 – support nutrition program like Meals on Wheels that offer seniors both food and companionship.

Transportation: Without transportation options, especially in rural areas of Maine, seniors can suffer from isolation and lack of access to essentials. Seven organizations each received $20,000 to support transportation services that help seniors access essential items and community services – Community Concepts, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, Mobilize Katahdin, Penquis, Waldo Community Action Partners, Downeast Community Partners, and York County Community Action.

Home Repair: To age in place safely, Maine seniors need homes that are warm, accommodating to their needs, and in good repair – a challenge for Maine’s old housing stock. Four grants have been awarded to programs providing home repairs, weatherization services, and mobility modifications for seniors – Downeast Community Partners ($30,000), Bath Housing ($20,000), York County Community Action ($40,000), and Western Maine Community Action ($40,000).

Companionship: Operating in 14 Maine counties, the University of Maine’s Center on Aging Senior Companion Program received a grant of $30,000 to provide homebound seniors with volunteer companions. The 15 hours of companionship seniors get each week are critical to reducing their isolation and retaining their ability to live independently.