|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 www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 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.
State proposes ongoing COVID tests at nursing homes
June 1, 2020 – SeniorsState health officials are trying to chart a path forward for ongoing testing in long-term care facilities, which account for the majority of COVID-19 deaths in New Hampshire.
Even before the pandemic many low-income students faced limited technology access
May 29, 2020 – GeneralUsing data from the nationally representative Understanding America Study, researchers from the University of California explored issues of student access to technology. The researchers found that 85% of families with at least one school-aged child had access to the internet and a home computer, although rates were much lower (63%) among families earning $25,000 or less per year. The researchers note that children in these families may still have access to technology through tablets, smartphones, or public WiFi, but that the quality of their educational experience likely differs from those among their higher income peers. #covid-19 #education
Home health care workers need additional support to meet growing challenges
May 18, 2020 – SeniorsThe home care services sector has received less attention than nursing homes, although it too faces the challenges of necessary social distancing. This critical sector will need assistance to meet current needs and the projected increase in pandemic-related demand. To support home health care workers, experts at The Conversation recommend ensuring paid sick leave, access to personal protective equipment (PPE), increased use of telehealth, including virtual training, and fair compensation for complex care. Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could expand the definitions of “home health” and “homebound” so that Medicare would cover more home care services. #covid-19 #workforce
Cutting school funding is not an appropriate solution to balance state budgets
More than 1 in 5 Americans is an unpaid caregiver for a friend or relative
COVID-19 crisis complicates access to behavioral health providers in rural places
Now is the time to invest in rural broadband, but can federal aid be used?
May 14, 2020 – GeneralPew Charitable Trusts reports that many rural residents view this time of social distancing as an opportunity to push for broadband investments. Vermont is one of one of several states that are considering using their federal CARES Act money to expand broadband, and unlike other states, Vermont has developed an Emergency Broadband Action Plan. However, efforts may be constrained by a federal requirement to use CARES Act money by the end of 2020. The Vermont Department of Public Service estimates that it would take around three years to complete their broadband expansion project. (Link to Vermont’s Emergency Broadband Action Plan: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/emergency-broadband-action-plan) #covid-19 #rural
Expanding the Child Tax Credit could lift 3 million people out of poverty
May 13, 2020 – FamiliesResearchers at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities identify expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a potential economic stimulus. Currently, many low-income families do not earn the full $2,000 CTC per child because their incomes are too low. The authors estimate that temporarily making this tax credit fully available would lift 3 million people above the poverty line. This poverty-alleviating measure would also be an effective economic stimulus as low-income families tend to spend this money quickly. Another strategy, rather than full expansion, would be to allow 2020 tax filers to use either their 2019 or 2020 income to calculate their CTC and EITC, as many will have drastically reduced earnings in 2020 due to pandemic-related job losses. #covid-19 #workforce
States bolster Medicaid as part of their pandemic response
May 13, 2020 – FamiliesThe Center for Budget and Policy Priorities summarizes state efforts to leverage Medicaid in response to the pandemic. Implementing policies that ease access, support social distancing, and strengthen the workforce are especially prevalent, enacted through amendments and special emergency waivers. Maine and other New England states have implemented many of these responses (particularly when compared to states across the South); enactment of specific policies by state are available through CBPP’s maps and tables. #covid-19 #workforce
Many of the most economically vulnerable were hit hardest by job losses in April
May 12, 2020 – FamiliesThe Center on Budget and Policy Priorities also analyzed the recently released national labor force statistics for April 2020. Across demographic groups, they found larger declines in employment for Black or African American (down 18 percent), Hispanic/Latino (down 21 percent), and foreign-born workers (down 21 percent) as compared to white workers (down 16 percent). Low-wage jobs were also disproportionately lost, finding that over half of the 20 million jobs lost were from the lowest-paying industries. In summary, those who already face barriers to economic opportunity were also the hardest hit by these job losses. #covid-19 #workforce
Mini Pantry Movement
May 10, 2020 – GeneralA grassroots initiative called Little Free Pantry is a network of small food pantry boxes in neighborhoods created and maintained by community members. Operating much like neighborhood free library boxes, these pantries have a ‘take what you want, leave what you want’ policy. Their website has a searchable U.S. map to find the closest mini pantry to you. To join the movement, volunteers can simply create a box, put it up in their community, and register it online. #covid-19 #foodsecurity