Organization Name: Kennebec Valley Community Action Program

Program Name: Child and Family Services/Mid Maine Homeless Shelter Collaborative

Program Contact: Miriam Jacobs, HomeBased Supervisor
Email:     Phone: (207) 859-1621

UWMM has funded this program for 8 years.

Amount Requested: $5000
Is this an increase from what your program received for the current funding cycle? 

Twenty-five word summary of this program’s purpose:

To engage and support families experiencing homelessness around parent-child relationships, child health, and child
development in order to support school readiness for young children.

How your program is uniquely important to the community:

Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter is the only shelter serving the greater Waterville community. MMHS and Educare have been
working together since Educare opened its doors in 2010.  Educare is uniquely positioned to partner with MMHS in this project as part of the KVCAP Head Start program, which serves Northern Kennebec and Somerset Counties. Educare serves as a community example of high quality early childhood services, with a state of the art facility, highly qualified staff, and connections to education and family services organizations. The playgroup facilitator for this project is a seasoned Licensed Social Worker who has served as a Teacher and Home Visitor in her long career with KVCAP.  This partnership lends itself to expediting children’s longer-term enrollment in Early/Head Start programming, which will allow for continued supports as the families transition into permanent housing.  Educare offers an array of parent education and enrichment opportunities, all of which are open to the guests of MMHS.  

Program Updates

Since last report (or in past two years):

Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter is transitioning to a new Executive Director with clarified job description and role to lead organizational culture and sustainability.  KVCAP/Educare convened a joint leadership meeting that included the Interim Executive Director and Program Manager from Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, and the Child & Family Services Director and Playgroup Supervisor from KVCAP. The team discussed opportunities for strengthening collaboration and designing programming that would best meet the needs of participants moving forward: on-site playgroup and parenting opportunities, regular meetings, and shared trainings. 

KVCAP will be offering Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) training in April with a few staff from Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter attending. 

Expected in the coming year:

During the past years, transportation and fear of the unknown environment prevented families from attending playgroups at Educare.  In order to remove barriers to family participation, the plan will shift to a design that includes weekly on-site presence by the Playgroup Teacher at the Mid Maine Homeless Shelter, with opportunities for families to participate in structured visits to Educare.  On-site presence will scaffold relationships and families will gain comfort and trust to explore new opportunities.   The Playgroup Teacher will continue to offer child screenings, parent-child activities, resources and referrals, but will complete these activities primarily on-site at Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter.  

Outcome your program most contributes to:
Education: All children grow up in a stable environment—safe, healthy, and ready to learn.

How program contributes:
Provides a direct service in early learning and youth success/education areas, Increases access/reduces barriers to direct services, Increases capacity/resources for direct services, Advocates for early learning, youth success, and/or education, Collaborates with other programs/services in early learning, youth success, and/or education

Define your year: September 1-August 31

How much did we do? 40 (Total number served)

How well did we do it?

Performance measure: Percent of children under five who have completed developmental screening
Most recent year’s data: 81%
Previous year’s data: 55%

What was the difference made?

Performance measure: Percent of children enrolled in the program who successfully transition to kindergarten
Most recent year’s data: 62.5%
Previous year’s data: 60%

Action Plan

Objectives for current year:

In the upcoming year, we aim to strengthen our collaboration with Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter through direct service and leadership connections.  Through increased on-site presence we are aiming to meet families where they are literally and figuratively to promote child well-being.  In addition to the specific measures identified below, we are seeking to support the adoption of family-friendly practices at the shelter that foster resilience for children and parents. 

25 of children age 5 and under and their families will participate in facilitated child development activities.

85% of children age 5 and under will have a completed developmental screening, with referrals to appropriate health and development services as needed.  This is a more realistic target given the transient population served and barriers to repeated participation. 

75% of children, age 5 and under who participate for 3 months or transition to (Early) Head Start will demonstrate social-emotional growth.  This will be measured through Devereaux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) or Teaching Strategies Gold respectively.  



Objectives and results from last year:Success Stories

We had the wonderful opportunity to offer supports to a young single mother, A, and her six-month-old daughter, C, who were both guests of the shelter. Shortly after the family started participating in playgroups, the group facilitator shared the different enrollment opportunities for Early Head Start that could benefit C. Open to the conversations and the idea of a child development program,  A completed an application for services and C was enrolled into the Home Based home visiting option the following week, continuing her relationship with the playgroup facilitator.  As part of the concurrent work occurring with shelter case managers, A was able to secure one of the youth apartments on the second floor of MMHS.  With several key supports in place through MMHS and Early Head Start, A continued to demonstrate motivation and effort. In her work with her Home Visitor, A developed goals around employment and education, which also included transportation.  After attempting a job placement that did not work due to lack of transportation and child care, A decided to shift gears and take a course at Kennebec Valley Community College where she was connected to the Pathways to Opportunities (PTO) program offered by Goodwill-Hinckley.  PTO offers a robust menu of wraparound supports intended to address complex needs and change the path of homelessness in young adults.  Succeeding in her coursework and moving forward with her PTO plan, A was able to secure an Early Head Start subsidized child care slot at Educare and has enrolled as a full-time student at KVCC in the Early Childhood Education program.  Since enrolling at KVCC, A has earned high honors and completed field placements at several KVCAP child service locations.  She has also worked extensively as a Substitute Teacher at Educare and other KVCAP early childhood classrooms.  A expects to graduate from KVCC in the spring and has recently been accepted to the Early Childhood Program at the University of Maine at Farmington!  

A’s story illustrates the power of collaboration and coordination among service providers in order to truly shift the success trajectory for multiple generations. A’s story is still unfolding and we are so fortunate to be a part of this transformational part of her journey.

Previous Year Actual Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
0 5000 0 0 3000 8000

Total Actual Expenditures: $5000

Current Year Budgeted Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
0 5000 0 0 1500 6500

Total Budgeted Expenditures: $5000

Anything remarkable about your program’s budget:

The $3000 represented in the previous year budget and projected year budget in the “other” line reflects in-kind for space, materials and administrative support.  The Head Start Policy Council has directed Head Start to continue to support the Mid Maine Homeless Shelter collaborative. 

Given the fundraising challenges to meet the requests of partner agency requests, KVCAP as an agency has reduced their overall request by 10%.  Due to the critical role UWMM funds play in the collaboration efforts with Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, level funding is being requested for this program, while other programs are requesting less or eliminating the request. 


What else you’d like reviewers to know:

In the question that asks about the performance measure to measure if anyone is better off, the drop-down measure indicates transition to kindergarten.   Our reported measures are for transition to early care and education programs and kindergarten, including Early Head Start and Head Start.  This was not listed as an option so selected the most appropriate match within the system. 


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