Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Childhood exposure to the EITC associated with better health in young adulthood

October 20, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new study in the Journal of Public Economics evaluates the long-term impact of exposure to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from ages 0-18 on health outcomes of young adults ages 22-27. Researchers used data from the 1968- 2017 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative household survey that has followed a group of households and their descendants since 1968. The authors measure EITC exposure as the maximum federal and state credit a family could receive based on their state, family size, and the year. They choose to model the effects of being “exposed to” the EITC (rather than actual amount received) so as to preserve the models’ ability to separate the EITC’s effects from family income (since the two measures would be too closely related to be included in a single model). Findings suggest the availability of the EITC during childhood was associated with higher self-reported health and lower obesity among young adults.

Historically redlined communities at higher risk of COVID-19 morbidity

September 20, 2020 – Families

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) finds that neighborhoods that have been historically redlined also have higher rates of preexisting chronic conditions that increase the risk of COVID-19 morbidity. Redlining was a discriminatory practice that restricted financial and other institutions from investing in certain neighborhoods largely based on their racial makeup. Historic redlining led to decades of disinvestment in these communities, and the impacts of this systematic racism on current health outcomes is clear. #covid-19 #racialequity

NBER explores reasons for persisting unmet need despite CARES Act bolstering the social safety net

September 20, 2020 – Families

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research explores why material hardships have continued for many Americans despite the robust policy response in the CARES Act. The paper details estimated economic need and the details of federal policy action including the CARES Act. Ultimately, the authors conclude that there are three main drivers of the remaining unmet economic need: that relief was delayed, relief payments were modest (with the exception of unemployment insurance), and there have been holes in coverage. #covid-19

Rural counties with higher percentages of Black and Hispanic/Latinx residents have higher COVID-19 mortality rates

September 20, 2020 – Families

New research published in The Journal of Rural Health explores COVID-19 death rates in rural areas, finding that rural counties with greater shares of Black and Hispanic/Latinx residents report higher death rates. Authors used COVID-19 daily death data for 1,976 nonmetropolitan (rural) counties from the beginning of March through the end of July 2020. This research shows that COVID-19 mortality risk is not only higher for Black and Hispanic/Latinx residents of cities, but for those living in rural areas as well. #covid-19 #rural #racialequity

Colorado organization connects rural businesses with information, community

September 18, 2020 – Families

The Daily Yonder explores how one organization has supported rural Colorado businesses during the pandemic. The organization, called Startup Colorado, supports new businesses and rural-based entrepreneurs across the state. At the beginning of the pandemic, Startup Colorado starting hosting weekly regional update calls with information from local and federal agencies. Besides providing a space for information dissemination, the regional calls also started to form a virtual community where entrepreneurs can connect. #covid-19 #rural

College enrollment declines, especially among disadvantaged students

September 16, 2020 – Older Youth

The Washington Post describes early signs of disproportionate college enrollment declines and higher dropouts among low-income students, students of color, and rural students. Declines in enrollment are greatest at community colleges. College enrollment increased during the Great Recession and tends to increase in any economic downturn, although the opposite is happening in the current pandemic-related recession. Some key reasons for this include concerns about exposure to the virus, lost income prohibiting enrollment, and challenges with virtual classes such as insufficient access to broadband and other technology at home. As enrollment declines unevenly, concerns about perpetuating inequality abound. #covid-19 #education #racialequity #rural

Mathematica study models risks in back to school strategies for use by school decisionmakers

September 16, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

Mathematica worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to conduct simulations of a model predicting the spread of COVID-19 in schools under different local circumstances (including local community infection rate) and operating procedures. A substantial finding from these simulations is that the strategies of wearing masks and reducing student contact outside of class do help meaningfully reduce the spread of COVID-19. Researchers found that these precautions combined with a part-time hybrid school operation strategy were very effective. The report outlines different scenarios and operating procedures that school decisionmakers can use to inform their approaches. #covid-19 #education

Older youth need targeted messaging that presents safe ways to interact with peers

September 16, 2020 – Older Youth

In a new article in The Conversation, researchers from the University of Michigan share their findings from a survey of youth ages 14-24 and their experiences during the pandemic. Although this survey was not designed to be nationally representative, its qualitative nature allows researchers a deeper view into youth perspectives. Researchers found that, although youth are taking COVID-19 seriously, misunderstandings about best practices in social distancing have contributed to more risky behaviors. Over half of survey respondents learned about COVID-19 from media geared towards adults and authors suggest that more targeted messaging for this age group could help spread accurate information. As socialization is important for youth mental health, it is crucial to present young people with safe opportunities to interact, and the information necessary to do so safely. #covid-19

Broadband providers create new program to connect low-income students to internet

September 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

In the wake of inaction from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the broadband industry commits to support low-income students with their new K-12 Bridge to Broadband program. The program will identify households that have chosen to not subscribe to broadband, which is often for cost-related reasons. Then the broadband industry will offer a special rate to school districts and local entities to cover discounted broadband service for these households. #covid-19 #education

How cities can become more racially and economically inclusive in COVID-19 recovery

September 15, 2020 – Families

The Urban Institute reviews their rankings of U.S. cities based on how they have become more or less racially and economically inclusive between 2013 and 2016. Cities such as Duluth, Minnesota improved their overall inclusion rank through reductions in racial segregation, their racial poverty gap, their racial homeownership gap, the share of households that are rent-burdened, and income segregation, among other factors. From this analysis, authors propose eight strategies that cities can use to promote and increase inclusion as they recover from COVID-19. These strategies include adopting a shared vision, sustaining bold leadership, recruiting partners across various sectors, building voice and power withing disenfranchised communities, leveraging existing assets, taking a regional approach, reframing inclusion as integral to growth, and adopting policies and programs that promote inclusion. #covid-19 #racialequity

Many young adults live with their parents

September 15, 2020 – Older Youth

The U.S. Census Bureau used new Current Population Survey data to examine the living situations of people aged 25 to 34 and to document how these living arrangements intersect with poverty status. The analysis found that 17.8 percent of those 25-34 lived with their parent(s) in 2019. These young adults ages had a lower poverty rate (at 5.3 percent) than the poverty rate for their age group overall (at 10 percent). If these same young adults did not share a household, their poverty rate would be more than six times higher, at 36.3 percent. Household sharing reduces poverty among parents though too: among families living with related children age 25-34, poverty would be more than twice as high without those young adults’ income in the family. Rates of household sharing among young adults have increased substantially in the pandemic, as evidenced by earlier work from the Pew Research Center.

Northern New England faces challenges as school-age population decreases and education costs increase

September 15, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

A new regional brief from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s New England Public Policy Center explores the declining school-age population in northern New England. The research finds that all 40 New England counties saw shrinking numbers of children between 2000 and 2017, a trend that is expected to continue for nearly all counties into 2030. Decreasing K-12 enrollment has been coupled with lower shares of state and local spending, and higher per-pupil expenditures than in other parts of the country. The report finds that 14% of Northern New England public schools open in 2000 were closed by 2017, as districts consolidate and close schools to save on overhead costs. The authors suggest options include increasing revenues, readjusting allocations to education versus other municipal costs, reducing the cost of delivering K-12 education, or increasing the school-aged population with policies and incentives. #education