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.


Food insecurity fell nearly 30 percent between spring 2020 and 2021

May 26, 2021 – Families

By April 2021, about 1 in 7 U.S. adults reported experiencing food insecurity, down from over 1 in 5 during the first few weeks of the pandemic. Despite this promising data, food insecurity remains high for adults identifying as Hispanic or Latinx, with over 1 in 4 adults reporting food insecurity. In contrast, the rate of food insecurity among white adults declined more than any other racial group. Urban Institute authors suggest the decrease in unemployment, expansion of SNAP benefits, broader access to school meal programs for children, and increased ease of accessing all qualifying benefits for families may have played a role in increasing resources for food, while stimulus checks and other pandemic aid also helped families meet their basic needs. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

How 2 efforts that emerged during the pandemic are changing with the times

May 26, 2021 – Older Youth

The Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed the impact of two young-adult work and education programs during the pandemic. Intern From Home, a student-developed program that links peers to virtual internship opportunities ensures students who would otherwise be unable to access or accept summer internships are connected to virtual opportunities. The second program is the pre-established Global Citizen Year immersive abroad program. By shifting to a virtual cultural immersion during the pandemic, Global Citizen Year has been able to reach hundreds of additional students and has reduced attendance costs. #covid-19 #education #workforce

How COVID Relief Funds Can Support Head Start Parents

May 26, 2021 – Families, Young Children

A Spotlight Exclusive suggests the time is right for Head Start to focus on parents’ economic mobility with “equal intensity” as it directs toward its child development goals. The authors suggest that specialized staff training can increase staff comfort with setting goals relevant to parent mobility, instead of just child development. Pointing to evidence-based workforce development programs, the authors note that intensive education and career service options for parents should be sustained and intensive. They also acknowledge that weaving these offerings more strongly into existing Head Start settings will be difficult but suggest recent federal investments in Head Start provide unprecedented opportunities to support truly two-generation outcomes. #education #workforce #2-Gen

Low-income immigrant families continue to avoid safety net programs in 2020 despite severe pandemic-related impacts

May 26, 2021 – Families

The Urban Institute conducted their Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey in December 2020 to evaluate the economic impact of the pandemic on lowincome families with different citizenship statuses. They split their sample into three categories: adults in families with naturalized citizens, adults in families with green card holders, and adults in families with nonpermanent residents. The findings revealed many low-income immigrant families reported loss of employment, food insecurity, and difficulty paying expenses. More than half were worried about affording their basic needs for the month. Yet amid this hardship, more than 25 percent of families did not seek government benefits for fear that it would jeopardize their immigration status or that they would be ineligible under the “public charge” rule. To address this disparity, the Urban Institute recommends that federal, state, and local organizations clarify communication around the public charge rule and other eligibility requirements, and that agencies and policymakers address administrate and logistical barriers to accessing benefits (e.g., language barriers). #covid-19 #racialequity #foodsecurity

Households receiving government benefits have 2% of the wealth, 89% the debt of counterparts without benefits

May 25, 2021 – Families

The Census Bureau reports on the 2017 wave of its Survey of Income and Program Participation, assessing wealth and debt among low-income households. The report quantifies median wealth of households participating in means-tested government benefit programs versus their counterparts without benefits, finding a massive gap between the two. Even excluding home equity, those receiving benefits reported median wealth of $1,835 compared with $74,530 among those without benefits: a 97 percent gap. Alarmingly, despite less wealth and fewer assets, levels of unsecured debt were relatively similar between the groups, at $8,000 in the group with benefits and $9,000 in the group without. Given low wealth and high debt, financial mobility is especially challenging among low income families, even before the added financial strains of the pandemic. #wealth&assets

Despite federal moratorium, eviction rates returning to pre-pandemic levels

May 24, 2021 – Families

The Idaho Policy Institute, with Princeton University’s Eviction Lab Tracking System, described the predicted impact of eviction moratoriums and local aid funds expiring on Idaho’s eviction rates. With the pandemic’s impact on unemployment and the lack of affordable housing options, the expiration of pandemic-related aid could mean that renters across the country will be facing eviction risks even higher than pre-pandemic when the moratorium expires, now extended to July 31, 2021. The authors note that households affected by the pandemic and facing months of back rent are likely to be in difficult straits as housing becomes more expensive and less available. #covid-19 #housing

Harvard experts make the case that racism inhibits child development

May 21, 2021 – Families

In a new research brief, Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child unpacks the ways that addressing racism can open new opportunities for child wellbeing and success. The brief notes the established link between racism and worse child and family outcomes, pointing specifically to the known pathways connecting toxic stress, trauma, and recurring adversity to later life outcomes like school readiness, educational achievement, and economic productivity. #racialequity #place-based #education #mentalhealth

Overall financial well-being of U.S. households in 2020 similar to 2019, though uneven across education and race

May 21, 2021 – Families

The Federal Reserve reports on the findings of the 2020 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED). Although overall financial well-being fluctuated throughout 2020, by the end of the year financial well-being was back to 2019 levels, with 75 percent of adults “at least doing okay” financially. However, this was true of just 45 percent of adults with less than a high school degree. Worse financial well-being was also documented among adults identifying as Black, Hispanic, or LGBTQ+. Additionally, almost one-quarter of adults reported that they were worse off financially compared to 12 months earlier (an increase from 14 percent in 2019). #covid-19 #racialequity #wealth&assets

Public preschool in Boston associated with increased educational attainment, decreasedv negative student behavior outcomes

May 21, 2021 – Older Youth

The School Effectiveness & Inequality Initiative (SEII) at MIT recently published a discussion paper assessing the long-term effects of the universal public preschool program in Boston. The study leveraged the randomized preschool lottery process to explore both the short- and long-term impacts of attending a public preschool on student outcomes, comparing those who attended with those who did not. While enrollment in Boston public preschool had no detectable impact on academic achievement in terms of test scores, preschool enrollment was associated with increased long-term educational attainment and more positive student behavior. Those who attended the public preschool program were more likely to graduate high school, take the SAT, enroll in college on time, and ever enroll in college than their peers. Preschool attendants also had better student behavior outcomes, as they were less likely to be suspended in high school or ever be incarcerated as a juvenile. #education #juvenilejustice

New Hampshire summer school and camps support youth with academic and social losses

May 19, 2021 – Older Youth

The Concord Monitor reports that nonprofit organizations and school districts in New Hampshire are experiencing increased demand for summer programming as they work to address losses of the past year. Drawing on federal COVID funds, the state has made low-income children and children with disabilities eligible for summer camp subsidies. Additional support is being made available to offset the cost of “learning pods,” enhancing traditional summer school offerings. Other organizations focus on preparing children for kindergarten or helping older students achieve missing credits and reconfigure disrupted educational plans from last year. #covid-19 #education

Making best use of federal child care support means strategic partnerships to build capacity

May 4, 2021 – Families

A new report from CLASP elucidates the role and extent of different federal relief funding streams that can be used to enhance child care facilities. Some resources are specific to child care (e.g., the Child Care & Development Block Grant) while others, available to states and localities as general small business and capital project funds, could also be leveraged in this way. CLASP identifies which sources can be used for renovations, technical assistance, equipment, hazard pay, and other infrastructure-supporting uses. Authors suggest partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are an especially important strategy for states and tribes to consider, given that these partnerships can open access to new funding streams, development expertise, real estate, and technical assistance. #covid-19 #education #childcare

PROMISE projects found to have positive impact on receipt of transition services among youth with autism spectrum disorder

May 1, 2021 – Older Youth

Mathematica conducted a national evaluation of the PROMISE—Promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (SSI)—initiative, which consisted of government-supported projects aimed to support youth with disabilities receiving SSI and to facilitate transitions to adulthood. While authors found that there were some transition and family support services available for youth with ASD in the status quo environments, those who participated in PROMISE projects had higher receipt of transition services—especially case management services, employment-promoting services, financial education services, and benefits counseling. #workforce