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 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.

 

Local library provides support and social connection to veterans

November 4, 2020 – Families

In the rural town of Randle, Washington, the Mountain View Timberland Regional Library has worked throughout the pandemic to support veterans. Before the pandemic, the library had started a teleservices program for veterans called the Veteran Connection Café, which provided professional assistance with benefits like healthcare and pensions. Although that program could not continue once the pandemic began, the library has been offering contactless services over the phone. Veterans can also borrow Chromebooks and use the library WiFi in the parking lot, since the building is closed. #covid-19 #rural

“Green House” nursing homes far less impacted by COVID-19 than traditional facilities

November 3, 2020 – Seniors

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been the sites of notable COVID-19 outbreaks. However, “Green House” nursing homes—a nontraditional and less-institutionalized long-term care model—have reported far fewer COVID-19 cases and outbreaks. Green House facility residents are one-fifth as likely to contract COVID-19 as those living in standard nursinghomes. For example, a Green House residential facility in Northern Virginia called Goodwin House has not had a single case of the virus. Another facility in Florida, the Woodlands at John Knox Village, has only had one reported case. In addition to Green House facilities being structured more like homes than hospitals, employees also receive higher pay and more time for interacting with residents. Reported employee turnover is much lower at Green House facilities (just 8 percent) than the industry-wide 55 percent. However, these nontraditional facilities tend to be located in wealthier areas and few are Medicaid-reliant, meaning that these options are out of reach for many low-income seniors and seniors of color. #covid-19 #racialequity

Hazard pay for low-wage frontline essential workers is needed now more than ever

October 29, 2020 – Families

Brookings researchers follow up on the current state of hazard pay for frontline essential workers as the pandemic wears on. Many of the large retail companies ended their temporary increases to hourly pay months ago and federal relief efforts are stalled. At the same time, the actual hazard of the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased. Almost half of frontline essential workers are lowwage workers and Black and Hispanic/Latinx workers are overrepresented in these positions. Hazard pay is supported by more than three-quarters of the general public and many employers—particularly large retail companies like Amazon and Walmart that have realized massive profits during the pandemic— could bear the costs. Authors recommend that the next federal relief bill ought to focus on low-wage workers and that profitable companies should both restore hazard pay and permanently increase their minimum wages to $15/hour. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Food insecurity up after relief measure wane

October 27, 2020 – Families

New research from the Urban Institute using its Coronavirus Tracking Survey finds that food insecurity increased by two percentage points between May and September, landing at 19.6 percent. The authors suggest that emergency SNAP allotments, stimulus payments, and unemployment compensation all served to keep food insecurity down through the spring and summer. Household where the respondent or their spouse or partner lost a job reported the highest rates of food insecurity, at 37 percent in September. Household food insecurity rates also remain much higher for Black adults (28.2 percent) and Hispanic/Latinx adults (30.5 percent) than for white adults (14.7 percent)—a pattern consistent throughout the pandemic. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #racialequity

Declines in nursing assistants across New Hampshire exacerbate nursing home staff shortages

October 26, 2020 – Seniors

The Concord Monitor reports on new data from the New Hampshire Board of Nursing that shows 2,381 licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) let their licenses lapse in New Hampshire between June 2019 and May 2020. During this same period the state only issued 1,672 new licenses, meaning there was a net loss of 709 LNAs. Staff shortages have been a challenge for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in New Hampshire historically and this recent loss exacerbates the problem. As LNAs are usually only paid around $15.50 per hour, the New Hampshire Long Term Care Stabilization program that provided weekly stipends to frontline health care workers were important incentives to keep LNAs as COVID-19 hit facilities. The program expired in July, but the governor announced new earmarks in mid-November, available through the end of the year, to incentivize these workers to continue their pandemic-era efforts. #covid-19

Recent parenting gains may not withstand the pandemic

October 26, 2020 – Families

Over the last 30 years, income-based differences in parenting have decreased. Low-income parents have been able to increase the amount of time they spend on enrichment activities, like reading, with their young children. Parental values across income groups have also converged. However, the public health and economic crises caused by the pandemic threatens to eliminate these parenting gains. Ongoing Brookings research following low-income families with young children throughout the pandemic reveals that parents are struggling. From February to May 2020 not only were there far more families financially distressed, but there was also a 60 percent increase in the share of parents reporting to lose their temper on a given day. The pandemic and its impacts have also taken a toll on parental mental health and the share of parents who had not read to their young child at all the previous week doubled from 4.7 percent last fall to 8.2 percent (spring 2020). #covid-19 #mentalhealth

County priorities include both economic and public health aspects in pandemic recovery

October 20, 2020 – Families

The National Association of Counties (NACo) released a new report summarizing the concerns and priorities of county leaders regarding COVID-19 recovery. While counties face diverse challenges, 64 percent counties reported that the pandemic’s health and economic impacts are of equal concern. Areas of top concern are individual and small business financial relief, disproportionate impacts on communities of color, unemployment, health impacts beyond the virus (like mental health), access to food and housing, and more federal funding programs to assist with recovery. County leaders identified a range of county needs going forward, including gap funding to make up for lost revenues, funding with fewer strings attached, improved broadband, and opportunities to share best practices among counties and to create new partnerships. #covid-19 #mentalhealth #foodsecurity

Pandemic interrupts post-high school plans for some, disproportionately for low income students

October 20, 2020 – Older Youth

New results from a nationally representative poll of high-achieving 2020 high school graduates finds that as of August, most students were continuing to pursue their post-high school plans of attending college. Almost 9-in-10 students applied to at least one college, and 86 percent were accepted to at least one (results collected before actual college attendance). However, the results diverged when researchers stratified the sample by ever having received free and reduced-price lunch: 47 percent who had subsidized meals had changed their plans due to COVID, compared with 28 percent who never had. Potential changes include attending a school closer to home, attending a two-year school instead of a four-year, and for 9 percent of low-income respondents, deciding to forgo college attendance altogether (compared with 5 percent of higher income students). The article suggests that the effects of these decisions are yet unknown, but could have similar long-term earnings impacts to those documented among millennials who came of age during the Great Recession. #covid-19 #education

Parental support through home-visiting and care coordination teams persist in the pandemic

October 20, 2020 – Families

A story in USA Today highlights the strategies that home visiting and care coordination programs have undertaken to stay connected with participants in the pandemic and to ensure that families’ needs continue to be met. One program notes consistent outreach and communication with built-in screenings are key to identifying issues like maternal depression, which low-income mothers and mothers of color may be less likely to seek help for. In another example, Nurse-Family Partnership leveraged a partnership with Verizon to distribute nearly 4,000 iPhones with data plans to moms at no cost, to keep them connected to employment opportunities and services in the pandemic. Another program, HealthySteps, while connecting families with food and diapers reminds parents that well-child visits are still safe amid the pandemic, and encourages vaccinations. While providers and participants tout the successes of these programs, patchwork funding and reliance on annual federal allocations complicate the programs’ capacity to continue. #covid-19 #families

Access to paid sick leave reduces COVID-19 spread

October 18, 2020 – Families

Treating the introduction of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as a natural experiment, a new paper in Health Affairs examines whether the number of newly reported COVID-19 cases declines in states after the introduction of the FFCRA’s paid sick leave components, compared with cases in states where workers already had paid sick leave. The authors find that after controlling for a host of state level characteristics and policies (including different COVID-testing environments and stay at home orders), states with new access to paid leave realized 400 fewer cases of COVID-19 per day, suggesting that allowing workers to stay home (with pay) when sick is effective at reducing viral spread. #workforce #covid-19

Full-time enrollment in higher education is down across New England

October 16, 2020 – Older Youth

The Boston Globe describes fall 2020 higher-education enrollment at colleges and universities across New England. According to the New England Commission of Higher Education, full-time enrollment is down by more than 20 percent at over two dozen higher-education institutions in the region. Another 50 New England institutions report enrollment declines between 10 and 20 percent as compared with last year. These declines will accelerate financial pressures on institutions and also signal that current and potential students, perhaps especially low-income students, are finding college out of reach amid the pandemic. #covid-19 #education

Columbia University finds monthly poverty on the rise

October 15, 2020 – Families

New research from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty & Social Policy uses data on families’ monthly resources to project monthly poverty rates through September. While not official poverty rates (which are calculated only annually), the researchers find that the enhanced social safety net of April and May prevented serious increases in poverty. However, as the stimulus check and enhanced unemployment benefits disappeared from families’ budgets, projected poverty increased to nearly 17 percent in September 2020. The authors note worse outcomes for children and people of color and suggest that additional federal investment is necessary to attenuate further increases. #covid-19 #racialequity