Mardi Gras wound up yesterday before the start of the Christian season of Lent, but this year, the centuries old festival was canceled in New Orleans due to fears of spreading SARS-CoV-2, and temperatures dipped down below freezing — obviously signs of the apocalypse. William Widmer took this photo for a Washington Post article about the closure:
Nonetheless, the city has found a way to celebrate Carnival season against the odds. Residents went through great lengths to decorate their homes like parade floats. King cake business has boomed, as people in town and across the country ordered the delicacy for a taste of normalcy. At home, locals are donning costumes and turning on the Mardi Gras music they’re missing. With gray skies and empty streets, the spirit of Mardi Gras still finds a way.
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New this Week
Food Box Distribution
Healthy Acadia will be distributing free food boxes on Thursday, February 25th, in Harrington and Calais. See flyer for details.
Connecting with Opportunities
Eastern Maine Development Corporation
would like your help sharing the exciting news about Maine’s Connecting with Opportunities Initiative. It’s focused on addressing the opioid crisis by providing support, encouragement and financial resources to people impacted (personally or indirectly) by opioid use disorder. There are lots of resources right now. Participants are needed. This initiative is also available to unemployed workers who haven’t been impacted by opioid use disorder, but want to play a role in addressing the opioid crisis. For these non-impacted individuals, the career paths are focused in the substance use disorder treatment, mental health or recovery fields. Connecting with Opportunities complements Maine’s other workforce development offerings, such as the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) program. If you know anyone who could benefit from financial assistance and a supportive team to start school, enter a training program or move directly into meaningful employment, please contact email@example.com
. If you or your organization would like to receive a brief presentation, contact Doug Dunbar (firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine Community Clergy Training
The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering a virtual training for faith-based and mental health communities across Maine. While this training will be led by the Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplain and Suicide Prevention Coordinator in Augusta, it is open to anyone state-wide. Topics include moral injury, suicide prevention, and how community clergy can best serve Veterans. This event will occur virtually on March 11, 2021 from 4-6 pm. See flyer for details.
Resiliency & Recovery Check In Calls
Join the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging for its Resiliency & Recovery Check In Call series on Thursdays, 1–2 pm. Upcoming topics include:
- February 25th: “Volunteer Transportation” for volunteer transportation providers to talk about current challenges, ask questions, and share ideas with each other as we all continue to navigate how to keep our communities safe.. Register here.
- March 4th: “Senior Centers and Congregate Meal Sites” to talk about current challenges, ask questions, and share ideas with each other as we all continue to navigate how to keep our communities safe. Register here.
Updates on programs, research, initiatives and pending legislation
Emergency Rental Assistance Program Update
Downeast Community Partners forwarded this update from the MaineHousing Team:
While we are working on the launch of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program we want to address a number of questions we have gotten about the program. You can find the questions and the answers on our website.
We know that many people are waiting for help. We understand that this is difficult – there is a lot of fear and anxiety. MaineHousing and Maine’s Community Action Agencies are working hard on this program every single day based on what we know – and we still have several key pieces of information the federal government needs to confirm. We are in contact with Maine’s Congressional delegation and our national partners to urge the U.S. Treasury Department to finalize program details.
We will launch the program in the near future. In the meantime, we have confirmed several program details that can help tenants and landlords gather the information needed to apply when the program opens.
As soon as we know the launch date, we will update our website, send an email to this update list, issue a press release, and post to our social media platforms.
Fairs, trainings, conferences and more in the state of Maine
Vaping: Myths and Facts
February 16, 2021
Healthy Acadia, in collaboration with WQDY 92.7/95.3 FM, WCRQ 102.9 FM, and WSHD 93.3 FM, is hosting free virtual discussion sessions to explore vaping and associated health risks. “Facts and Myths about Vapes” will be offered once per month via Zoom through December, 2021. Teens, parents, caregivers, teachers, and others who work or connect with youth are invited and encouraged to attend. The one-hour interactive presentation about e-cigarettes, commonly known as JUULs, is packed with information about the relatively new Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS, that have exploded onto the market and into the hands of teens and young adults. The first workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend a session and pre-registration is not required. Those who attend the full session will be entered to win a live prize drawing immediately following the discussion. For more information, including additional session dates and times and the Zoom link to join, click here
or contact Georgie Kendall at Georgie@HealthyAcadia.org
or (207) 214-1124.
Tree Tapping & Maple Syrup Workshop
February 18, 2021
Cobscook Institute is offering a Tree Tapping & Maple Syrup Workshop. Sliding scale $0-20 | online class | Feb18, 1-3 pm. Join syrup enthusiast Kara McCrimmon for a live virtual workshop on the basics of tree tapping and maple syrup making. The class will cover a brief history of sugaring, how to identify tappable maple trees, and options for finishing and preserving your harvest. Please register in advance.
Rats and Other Vermin Control on the Farm
February 23, 2021
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host a webinar about methods for control of rodents and wildlife on the farm 1–3 p.m. Feb. 23. “Rats and Other Vermin Control on the Farm” includes guidance for keeping rodents out of barns and grain storage areas, controlling racoons, foxes and weasels in hen houses and other livestock pens, and reducing predation of pastured animals. Presenters will be Kathy Murray, a Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry IPM entomologist; and wildlife biologist Adam Vashon from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wildlife Services. Registration is required; a $5 donation is optional. Register on the event webpage to receive a link to the live program or recording. Two hours of pesticide recertification credits have been requested for the program. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anette Moulton, 207.564.3301; email@example.com.
Nibbling on Natives in Your Backyard and Beyond
February 24, 2021
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and University of New Hampshire Extension will offer a webinar for home gardeners about edible native plants in the landscape from 6–7 p.m. Feb. 24. “Nibbling on Natives in Your Backyard and Beyond” identifies more than two dozen species of native edible wild plants suitable for adding to backyard landscapes and supporting native pollinators. Russ Cohen, expert forager and author of “Wild Plants I Have Known … and Eaten,” will lead the workshop. Registration is required; a $5 donation is optional. Register on the event webpage to attend live or receive a link to the recording. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Pamela Hargest, 207-781-6099; firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the fourth in a six-part winter gardening webinar series offered every other Wednesday through March for Maine and New Hampshire gardeners.
Zoom Call on Volunteer Transportation
February 25, 2021
Join the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging for a Resiliency & Recovery Check In Call on Thursday, February 25th from 1–2 pm, on the topic of “Volunteer Transportation” for volunteer transportation providers to talk about current challenges, ask questions, and share ideas with each other as we all continue to navigate how to keep our communities safe. Register here.
Zoom Call on Senior Centers and Congregate Meal Sites
March 4, 2021
Join the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging for a Resiliency & Recovery Check In Call on Thursday, March 4th from 1–2 pm on the topic of “Senior Centers and Congregate Meal Sites” to talk about current challenges, ask questions, and share ideas with each other as we all continue to navigate how to keep our communities safe. Register here.
Youth Mattering Community Conversation Public Forum
March 5, 2021
The Maine Resilience Building Network (MRBN) is hosting facilitated Community Conversations to Cultivate Mattering for Maine Youth. Virtual Forums are schedule in all 9 Public Health Districts across every Maine County. Participation is Free to Attend. Together we will listen, learn and share. All community members are encouraged to attend. Your voice matters. In the 2019 Maine Integrated Youth Survey almost 50% of youth feel they do not matter to their community. While a child may feel connected within their family or school, how can we create a culture in Maine where youth feel they matter in community? Connectedness refers to a sense of being cared for, supported, and belonging, and can be centered on feeling connected to school, home, with other important people or organizations. Mattering and social connectedness are protective factors that reduce the likelihood of poor mental health and other risks such as suicide and substance use. A strong sense of mattering in the community helps provide a sense of connectedness with lasting effects on their health and well-being. The Downeast Event (Hancock and Washington) is March 5, 2021 from 1 — 2:30 pm. Click here to register.
Maine Community Clergy Training
March 11, 2021
The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering a virtual training for faith-based and mental health communities across Maine. While this training will be led by the Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplain and Suicide Prevention Coordinator in Augusta, it is open to anyone state-wide. Topics include moral injury, suicide prevention, and how community clergy can best serve Veterans. This event will occur virtually on March 11, 2021 from 4-6 pm. See flyer for details
Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop
March 13, 2021
Cobscook Institute is offering a Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop: Co-Sponsored by MOFGA, Saturday March 13th 10 am – 12 noon. Stay tuned for more details.
Free – Virtual Abilities Expo in March
March 26-27, 2021
Abilities Virtual Experience is coming March 26-27th. The show will go on this spring, connecting you with the products and resources you need at the must-see Abilities Virtual Experience! Why you can’t miss Abilities Virtual: The virtual platform delivers next-level engagement, interactivity and resources to you safely at home (or wherever you have Internet access). Register right now to enjoy:
- The latest game-changing tech. The new virtual show will also allow you to search specifically for the products you need.
- Fan-fave and live host Paul Amadeus Lane is back to emcee the show!
- Live chat with other attendees and 1-on-1 video chat with exhibitors.
- In-depth interviews with stand-outs in the disability community.
Bias is Getting Old
April 20, 2021
Save the Date of April 20th for the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging Summit – Bias is Getting Old: Challenging age bias together to build healthier communities and economies. This is a virtual event from 9 am — 12 pm and 1 — 3 pm. Join the TSLCA for an interactive and engaging one-day virtual event that will explore age-related bias and the actions we can collectively take to change the narrative on aging and older people. Learn how to identify, talk about and engage on the issue across sectors with powerful tools for positive change. In the morning session, we’ll explore both overt and implicit age-related bias and the impact age-bias has not only on us but on the systems around us. We’ll work together, using the “Reframing Aging” tools, to create messaging to address age-related bias. The afternoon will feature breakout sessions that take a deeper dive into the ways age-related bias shows up across sectors. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in conversations about the following topics:
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
This Summit will bring together thought leaders in aging, healthcare and community to connect, collaborate and talk about what is possible when we understand how bias works and how to inspire change within the aging narrative.
Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. Contact Krista George for more information. Watch our website for detailed agenda and registration information. Coming Soon!
Serial Classes & Groups
Classes, play groups, support circles and other repeating events
Downeast Rainbow Alliance 10 minute Self-Care Zoom
Fridays at noon. Join Annie Hopkins and Guests! 10 minutes of centering & connection. zoom link at downeastrainbowalliance.com.
4-H for All Club
University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H is offering a second session of the 4-H for All club for youth ages 5–13 who are new, or interested in becoming, 4-H members. Meetings will be held online from 6–7 p.m. starting Feb. 17, and continuing March 17 and April 21. The 4-H for All club gives youth and families a way to explore 4-H and connect with others across Maine. Youth will participate in projects, and learn what 4-H has to offer and how to become more involved in the program. The club is free to join; registration is required. Register on the 4-H for All webpage to receive the meeting link. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Sara King, 207-743-6329; email@example.com.
Online CRMA Class-Spring
Washington County Adult Education and Axiom Education & Training Center are offering an Online Certified Residential Medication Aide (CRMA) training this spring to get you started working in assisted living or group homes administrating medications. This will be an online class except for the mock med pass at the end.
Class Dates: Tuesday/Thursday evenings April 13th to May 13th
Time: 5:30PM- 9:30PM
Location: Online/Zoom – A computer and an internet connection is required.
Instructor: Brenda Duggan
To sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-370-4139.
National Digital Equity Center Classes!
- Webinar: Learning About Devices – 2/9, 1–2 pm. Learn about different digital devices in this informative webinar. This webinar is part of the new NDEC Aging Well with Technology Curriculum – Getting What You Need Online, designed with those 55+ in mind.
- Webinar: Windows 10 PC Intermediate – 2/10, 2/17, & 2/24, 4:30 — 5:30 pm. Learn how to organize your files, managing storage, and other useful features of your Windows 10 PC.
- Webinar: Cutting the Cord – 2/16, 11–12 pm. Learn how to use internet based television and phone services to save money. This class is part of the NDEC Aging Well with Technology Curriculum – Getting What You Need Online, designed with those 55+ in mind.
For more upcoming classes visit our website.
Recovery Coaching Basics
Healthy Acadia is excited to offer 12 free CCAR Recovery Coaching Basics training from 9 am–2 pm. CEUs and contact hours provided. Download flyer for dates and other details.
Parenting with Dignity-Picking up This Ball Is a Victory for All
This is a special event taking place throughout the month of February, presented by Rebecca Williamson, CFPS, Regional Parent Support Coordinator. G.E.A.R. Parent Network invites you to pick up the ball and run with it through a multi-part parenting education course developed by Mac Bledsoe, father of a celebrated former New England Patriots’ quarterback. Parenting with Dignity helps parents learn effective techniques for raising responsible, independent children. Learn more in the Serial Classes & Groups section of this newsletter. Topics include:
- Session 1: A Model of Human Performance and Five Rules for Parents – Tuesday, February 9, 2021 from 6-8:30 p.m.
- Session 2: Discipline, Deciding what you Want – Part 1 and 2 – Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 6-8:30 p.m.
- Session 3: Sending a Constant Message of Love – Part 1 and 2 – Tuesday, February 16, 2021 from 6-8:30 p.m.
- Session 4: Teaching Your Values to Your Kids and Goal Setting – Thursday, February 18, 2021from 6-8:30 p.m.
- Session 5: The Reasons Punishment Doesn’t Work – Tuesday, February 23, 2021 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Register Here. Contact Shannan Boyorak, Regional Parent Support Coordinator, 1-207-944-4295 or 1-800-264-9224 with questions.
Online Nutrition Series for Families
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free, online nutrition series for families in Washington, Hancock, Androscoggin and Sadagahoc Counties beginning Feb. 11 at 3:30 p.m. and continuing each Thursday until April 1. “Create Family Meals” will include healthy recipes and tips for making healthy meal choices. Participants who join four or more classes will receive a gift bag with cooking supplies and a cookbook. The classes are free; registration is required. Register on the program webpage. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207.255.3345 or email email@example.com.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer two new webinars about cooking with Maine foods from 2–2:45 p.m. Feb. 9 and Feb. 23. “Cooking with the Maine Harvest” opens with a webinar about how to use an electric pressure cooker, followed two weeks later with another webinar about reducing food waste in the home kitchen. Instructors share recipes and techniques in an interactive format in this webinar series, which continues through the spring. Registration is required; a $5 donation is optional. Register on the program webpage to receive the link and resources. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Kate McCarty, 207.781.6099; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free, Virtual Parent Support Groups
Sunrise Opportunities Prevention Council offers a variety of parent support groups. All are free, held virtually and open to the community. It’s a wonderful place to meet other families and talk about your successes and challenges in an open environment. Download flyer
. To register or for more information please contact Monica Olivares at 263-5270. Use Zoom ID: 384-800-5813 and Password: Support to attend these Zoom groups:
- Circle of Parents: Parenting in Recovery, every Monday at 11:30 am-12:30 pm
- Circle of Parents: General Parent Support Group, 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 4:30pm-5:30pm
- Circle of Parents: Parents with children who have special needs, 2nd and 4th Mondays of the Month at 5:00pm-6:00pm
The Prevention Council also offers virtual playgroups! All are free, held virtually and open to the public.
Get a chance to meet other parents in your area and talk about the ups and downs of parenthood. To register or for more information please contact Monica Olivares at 263-5270 (use same Meeting ID and Password above):
- Calais Area Virtual Playgroup– Every Tuesday at 11am (see flyer)
- Machias Area Virtual Playgroup – Every Wednesday at 11am (see flyer)
Free Online Parenting Workshops
Sunrise Opportunities Prevention Council is hosting free parenting workshops held via Zoom that are open to the Public. Our workshops are designed to give parents tips and tricks to help navigate through the different challenges of parenting. Come to one or come to all! All workshops are one hour. For more information download a flyer
, or to register please call/text Monica Olivares at 263-5270. Workshops include:
- Praising Children and their Behavior – Wednesday, January 27 at 4:00pm-5:00pm
- Alternatives to Spanking – Wednesday, February 24 at 4:00pm-5:00pm
- Positive Ways to Deal with Stress & Anger – Wednesday, March 31 at 4:00pm-5:00pm
Washington County Community College is offering an Emergency Medical Technician course beginning on February 17th. The Course will be held online via Zoom and at the Machias Public Safety Building. See flyer for schedule, Fee, course requirements and link to application.
Community Circle Series
Teens and young adults are invited to a series of community circles hosted on Zoom by different community organizations once a month between January 21st and April 22nd as a space for people to connect, share their experiences, and imagine the future. See flyer for details.
AETC Winter/Spring 2021 Catalog
Washington County Adult Education/Axiom Education & Training Center offers a variety of courses from HiSET Prep to High School Diploma, College Transitions, Career and College Advising, and much more! Download our winter/spring 2021 catalog of courses. we are currently offering remote learning to all students. Visit our website to browse our courses, call our office, 207-370-4139, or email email@example.com for more information.
Monday Night Music
Cobscook Institute’s longstanding Monday Night Music Circle is taking place weekly over Zoom during the pandemic. Community members near and far are invited to drop-in to participate or simply listen. Staff is available to provide tech support for anyone that needs it. Details here.
GEAR Upcoming Events and Winter Quarterly Flyer
The G.E.A.R. Parent Network has many workshops and learning opportunities for winter/spring 2021. See their Winter Quarterly Flyer for details. There are a two ways for you to register: 1) You can register online or call 1-800-264-9224.
Workforce Certificate in
Substance Use Disorder & Recovery
Washington County Community College is excited to announce a free program in Substance Use Disorder & Recovery that results in a certificate and 30 credit hours transferable to their Associate of Applied Science in Health and Human Services degree. Successful completion also meets requirements to apply to sit for the Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor exam. See flyer
for details. Technology resources are available for students without access to wireless and/or tablets, as well as potential student supports from partner services.
Parent Enrichment Programs from Families CAN
Shannan Boyorak, Regional Parent Support Coordinator of GEAR Parent Network, is sharing 4 parent enrichment programs offered by Families CAN. At this time, all of their programs are being offered through Zoom.
ECHO now open to non-medical providers
ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is an evidence-based educational model developed by researchers at the University of New Mexico using videoconferencing to connect interdisciplinary specialist teams with primary care clinicians. Each 90-minute ECHO session will include a brief lecture, a case presentation and discussion between participants and faculty. CME credits are available. These are now open to non-medical providers that are engaged in substance use response (i.e. recovery coaches). See flyer
for details and schedule.
GEAR Support Groups 2x/ Week
G.E.A.R. Parent Network is offering offering support groups twice a week in an effort to accommodate more people’s schedules. They will be held on Monday evenings from 7 pm-8 pm and Wednesday afternoons from 1 pm-2 pm, and you may sign up to attend one or both if you like. See flyer for details.
3 upcoming Virtual Recovery Coach Trainings
Healthy Acadia is holding 3 virtual recovery coach trainings in academic year 2020-2021:
Maine DHHS is launching a volunteer support service to Help Maine’s Health Care Workers and First Responders Manage Emotional Toll of COVID-19 — FrontLine WarmLine. Read the full press release here.
Daily Virtual Recovery Support
The Downeast Recovery Support Center is offering daily virtual recovery support meetings Monday through Friday from 10-11 am and 4-5 pm. Open discussion, all recovery meeting are for individuals impacted by substance use disorder or affected others. Visit their facebook page for more information. To join a group by Zoom:
Meeting ID: 373 022 686
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,373022686# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,373022686# US (New York)
An Initiative Dedicated To Helping Caregivers Take Care of Themselves
The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit public health initiative, has announced Sherri Snelling, caregiving expert and corporate gerontologist, is taking a leading role with Caregiver Monday, a program dedicated to supporting the self-care of 65 million family caregivers by offering weekly health and wellness practices, research and collaborative activities through partner organizations. Family caregivers are under added stress now, with older people being more vulnerable to COVID-19. The Caregiver Monday program will be offered through Caregiving Club, a leading organization founded by Snelling that calls attention to the issues facing caregivers by offering practical health, wellness and resource-based information. Every month, the program will offer a themed article with evidence-based research information on specific topics related to caregiver self-care, as well as provide weekly practices and health promotions related to that monthly theme. Organizations supporting the campaign can access these materials on the updated Caregiver Monday site.
Caregivers Facebook Group
The CCC is launching a private facebook group for caregivers in Washington County – professional caregivers like RNs and CNAs, and informal caregivers like family members providing care for a spouse, parent, specials needs child, sibling or the neighbor across the street. Our goal is for this group to provide a platform for caregivers to talk to each other, ask questions, offer solutions based on experience with similar challenges, and point to helpful resources. Use this link to join.
Standing Meetings & Calendars
Monthly and quarterly meetings, agency/initiative calendars at a glance and other meeting schedules
DE Recovery Support Center Calendars
Download the Downeast Recovery Support Center calendar of events for Calais and Machias.
Downeast Public Health Council Meetings
Schedule for Downeast Public Health Council Meetings in 2021, for Downeast Public Health Council Members and Stakeholders: Third Friday of the month in January, March, May, July, September, and November 2021. Meetings will be virtual until in-person meetings are allowed. Contact Maura Goss with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maine Roads to Quality
Our Community of Practice meetings continue in Washington County! For now, we have combined our Calais and Machias groups, and are meeting every other week via Zoom. Please contact MRTQ District Coordinator Theresa Fisk for more information: email@example.com
Work Group & Poverty Busters
This is a meeting of direct service providers to share resources and network with other providers in your area. This group meets on the first Wednesday of the month from 1 — 3 pm. Due to the current public health COVID-19 shutdown, we are meeting via Zoom. Read notes from February’s meeting. Our next meeting is March 3rd – register here. Send your questions about this meeting to Christine.
Needs & Offers
Send us your agency/community needs or offers, such as job recruiting
or housing needs.
Healthy Acadia will be distributing free food boxes on Thursday, February 25th, in Harrington and Calais. See flyer for details.
Nominations sought for Norman W. Duzen community service award
The Washington County Extension Association seeks nominations for the 2021 Norman W. Duzen Volunteer Award, honoring a Washington County resident whose volunteerism has enhanced the lives of community members. Norman W. Duzen had a special place in his heart for the people of Washington County and donated many hours of his time to make their lives better. University of Maine Cooperative Extension Washington County staff and the WCEA Executive Committee established the Norman W. Duzen Community Service Award in his honor. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 5. Nominee forms and more information are available on the award webpage or by contacting 207-255-3345; firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHCS Job Openings in WC
Community Health & Counseling Services has the following job openings in Washington County:
- Peer Specialist
- CRW-I (Community Rehabilitation Worker)
SUD Patient Navigator
The Regional Medical Center at Lubec Northern Maine HIV Program is excited to add a new staff member to the team and tailor this outreach service to meet the needs of people living in Washington County. If you know someone who is passionate about reducing overdose deaths in our community and supporting those wishing to begin their journey of recovery, please pass this along and feel free to contact Erica Famous, Director of HIV Programs, with any questions. Read Job description here.
Get up to Speed
The Maine Broadband Coalition is launching a statewide speed test mapping initiative. The goal of the “Get Up To Speed” initiative is to gather data from across the state to generate the most comprehensive map of both the presence and quality of internet in Maine to date. Residents are being asked to help the initiative by taking this less-than-a-minute test
to map their own speed through the Maine Broadband Coalition’s website. We strongly encourage you to share this link with your community, so that we can get the most accurate map possible. The Maine Broadband Coalition will aggregate, document, and visualize the speed testing information to provide users and state officials with up-to-date service maps. Participants can view their results (while personal information remains confidential) and watch the public map of Maine
grow in real time.
“Swab and send” site at UMM
The University of Maine at Machias is becoming the Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ newest “swab and send” site, providing free COVID-19 tests to people who think they need a test, regardless of symptoms and without the need for a referral from a health provider.
Testing will be available on Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. starting, Nov. 23 and will continue at the Machias campus through at least the week of Jan. 25, 2021, when in-person instruction resumes across the University of Maine System for the spring semester. Appointments are required and will be available via online scheduling starting Nov. 19; visit the Keep Maine Healthy website for more information.
The campus-based testing center will have the capacity to conduct an average of 150 tests per week and will send specimens to the State Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta.
In addition to the swab and send agreement with DHHS, the testing at UMM is made possible through another agreement the University of Maine System reached with the Maine Emergency Management Agency to coordinate requests for assistance and deployment of resources in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Q+ Youth connect on Discord
The Downeast Rainbow Alliance (DRA) and Healthy Acadia have joined together to create a new forum for LGBT2Q+ youth, ages13-22, to connect. “Downeast Q+ Discord” is available 24 hours a day for peer to peer support. Discord is a secure online server that is often used as a communication tool for gaming communities. There are youth and adult moderators present in the space for safety. Q+ youth need open and affirming environments and time and time again we find that our schools are not able to create a reliable network of Q+ youth,” says Anne Shields Hopkins, lead administrator for the DRA. “Being affirmed of your identity as LGBT2Q+ can literally be life saving. This project is being created out of that need.” Join the server or contact Corrie Hunkler with questions.
Narcan by Mail
Healthy Acadia is now offering free Narcan through the mail (or a person can schedule a time to pick it up). Use this link to a Google form to request this service. Please share this information.
Safe Harbor Accepting Applications
Safe Harbor, a recovery residential program in Machias, is now accepting applications! Safe Harbor was created in partnership with Healthy Acadia, The Community Caring Collective, Downeast Community Partners, and Aroostook Mental Health Center. Our mission is to provide safe, supportive, housing for women in recovery and their children. This program is appropriate for women (18 years or older) with or without children who self identify as in recovery from substance use disorder. We require a negative screen for alcohol, THC, and medications or drugs not prescribed by a doctor upon admission. We also require an ability to pay rent, however temporary scholarships may be available. Most importantly applicants are expected to show a commitment to recovery and personal growth as well as a willingness to actively engage in recovery goal settings. Our residence features 5 furnished units, 3 full bathrooms, and a kitchen fully stocked with cooking supplies and plenty of room for food storage. Thanks to community support, Safe Harbor is well stocked with supplies, furniture, food donations, and a helpful network of recovery resources. See flyer for details.
Fedcap Inc. provides an array of services to individuals receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits throughout the state of Maine. The Washington County office is asking for gift cards or new winter clothing for children and adults to support their “Operation Warmth” project for program participants and their families living in poverty. Interested donors may contact Mary Pelletier, Calais/ Machias Site Manager, at MPelletier@fedcap.org, or 207-454-4480.
PTLA Tuesday Eviction Info Sessions
Join Pine Tree Legal Assistance online every Tuesday at 9 am to get your questions answered about eviction. Learn about the process and how it differs right now during the COVID lockdown. See flyer for more information.
Donations Needed for Shelter Guests
NextStep DV Project is gratefully accepting donations of new & unused household items for their shelter guests. See list of items needed. Please contact Marcie or Jasmine to arrange for drop-off of items or for more information.
Social Call Service
The COVID-19 pandemic has created many new challenges. It has also offered an opportunity for our community to come together in support of one another. Healthy Acadia’s Maine RecoveryCorps and MDI Hospital are partnering to respond to the isolation many community members are facing through a new Social Call service.
Social Calls are to be made by trained recovery coaches. Their recovery coach training and background has steeped them in a culture of empathy, support, compassion, and resilience. The callers are able to provide information on resources and offer reflective listening, encouragement, and honesty.
There are several avenues available to request a social call. One may discuss it with their provider who can send a referral on their behalf. The Healthy Acadia website has both on online form and one to print and return. Additionally Beth Alteri is available to 207 – 460 -2312 to take requests over the phone as needed. She can also be reached at email@example.com or receive faxes at 207-331-5423.
Social calls offer an opportunity for connection and can serve to buffer the negative effects of physical distancing. These calls are not intended to replace an individual’s need to connect with their mental health professional, but rather be an additional service for them to tap into. If you or someone you know could benefit from a Social Call please reach out to us. We are here to help.
Sunrise Scholarship Fund
Has your job been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic? For the immediate future, Washington County residents who answer yes to that question are eligible to apply for up to $500 to assist with training that will increase your opportunities for employment regardless of prior income levels! Click here for an application. Visit www.sunrisecounty.org. Call Jen at 255-0983 with any questions.
DCT Offers Virtual Services to Support Opioid Recovery
As a result of new virtual services, same-day access to anyone with opioid use disorder (OUD) who wishes to begin medication assisted treatment (MAT) is now available to anyone across Washington and Hancock counties. In response to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, the Downeast Treatment Center (DTC) in Ellsworth has begun offering immediate, virtual, rapid access to MAT for all in the Downeast region…. Patients can expect a virtual intake over phone or Zoom, prescriptions called to pharmacies near them; ongoing, remote access to a medical provider, and access to virtual group or individual sessions with a behavioral health provider. Anyone who does not have insurance or who cannot afford their insurance deductibles or copays can apply for financial support from Healthy Acadia’s Treatment Fund. Read the full press release from Healthy Acadia.
If you are Aware of a Senior in Need….
Healthy Acadia would like to share an Eastern Area Agency on Aging link to refer people for all services including the Meals on Wheels program. Please share this information widely!
Free Financial Coaching
Thanks to support from Downeast Community Partners, Joseph Connors has been able to continue offering free coaching on any financial matter to individuals and families in Washington County, following the termination of this program at the end of March by the Consumer Protection Bureau. To make an appointment with Joe, call him at 207-598-5657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us your favorite links to share with other Communique readers.
Connecting with Opportunities
Eastern Maine Development Corporation would like your help sharing the exciting news about Maine’s Connecting with Opportunities Initiative. It’s focused on addressing the opioid crisis by providing support, encouragement and financial resources to people impacted (personally or indirectly) by opioid use disorder. There are lots of resources right now. Participants are needed. This initiative is also available to unemployed workers who haven’t been impacted by opioid use disorder, but want to play a role in addressing the opioid crisis. For these non-impacted individuals, the career paths are focused in the substance use disorder treatment, mental health or recovery fields. Connecting with Opportunities complements Maine’s other workforce development offerings, such as the WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) program. If you know anyone who could benefit from financial assistance and a supportive team to start school, enter a training program or move directly into meaningful employment, please contact email@example.com. If you or your organization would like to receive a brief presentation, contact Doug Dunbar (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Seeds & Sprouts
Introducing “Seeds & Sprouts,” a family-friendly garden blog, collaboratively created and edited by Incredible Edible Milbridge and the Community Caring Collaborative. Seeds & Sprouts feaures monthly posts about family-friendly gardening activities, tips and tricks for your garden, and more. Check us out here.
Child Care Business Lab
CEI is starting an intensive 6-month program to help people interested in starting a child care business in selected counties, including Washington. The program, which starts in March, is called the Child Care Business Lab: we integrate small business start-up education with child care management techniques and coaching through the licensing process. Access to capital in the form of loans is also available. The Child Care Business Lab consists of formal workshops delivered via video, an online, on-demand component, live panels with existing child care providers who provide “been there / done that” insight – and participants work one-on-one with a business advisor and a child care mentor to tailor plans that work for them and their community. CEI Business Advisor Ruth Feldman encourages people to “take a look at the Child Care Business Lab website and let me know if you have any questions. (My colleague @Cynthia Murphy (email@example.com), who runs the program, is also happy to answer questions.) I hope you’ll consider applying!” Ruth can be reached at Ruth.Feldman@ceimaine.org.
National Digital Equity Center Upcoming Webinars
What else would you like to learn? Most of our online classes are now offered at various times in the next month. Topics range from learning new devices, programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and more, Using Online Games for Age 55+, Social Media platforms, Word Press, QuickBooks, Online Safety & Much More! Click here to register for upcoming online courses
2019 National Survey of Drug Use and Health
Last week the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The annual survey is the nation’s primary resource for data on mental health and substance use among Americans. Read the report here.
AMHC 24-hour Recovery Resource & Support Referral Line
AMHC has launched a 6-month pilot program providing a 24-hour recovery resource and support referral line: 1-833-NVR-GVUP or 207-454-1999. Read more about this here. Share this flyer.
Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19
SAMHSA is committed to providing regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19. Our TA programs are delivering great resources during this time. View the updated available TTA resources to assist with the current situation. Download flyer
for more information.
The “neighbor4neighbor” Fund (n4n) a program of Healthy Acadia, provides one-time mini-grants of up to $500 to seniors in Washington and Hancock counties who are facing any one of many life crises that can arise unexpectedly and for which they may not have adequate funds. n4n funds may be used for eyeglasses, dentures, medical equipment, emergency household repairs, or other one-time challenges which may undermine a senior’s ability to live independently and have a high quality of life. Learn more about n4n here. To apply for a n4n Fund mini-grant, click here.
Financial Planning for Memory Loss Caregivers
“Becoming a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is demanding. You’ll need to help your loved one with daily tasks as well as with financial decisions. Despite the challenges, being a caregiver can also be rewarding. It provides the opportunity to oversee important decisions and to ensure quality support for your loved one. This guide helps caregivers prepare for the expenses associated with caring for someone with memory loss and offers caregiver resources that can help make the journey easier.”
From: Insider.com | June 29, 2020 — See more.
VA Maine Caregiver Support Program
The VA has a new caregiver support program that provides a range of supports to caregivers of veterans, including education & training, peer support mentoring, home and community based care, and more. They will be holding their first ever summit which will be on a virtual platform. Details about that coming soon as this is still under development. See their fact sheet and flyer.
Helpful Wifi Resources
Lois-Ann Kuntz has 2 free WiFi resources to share:
- An updated map of ‘Study-From-Car’ sites where WiFi guest access is available for outside of buildings is now available. For each site, please check the website information provided for availability and connection information.
- The Maine State Library has this on their website a list of libraries that have their WiFi on 24/7 with available parking within range. I don’t see how to sort this by county. https://www.maine.gov/msl/libs/directories/wireless.shtml
Maine Families of Washington County publishes a comprehensive list of free Wi-Fi access
in their online community resource guide.
Washington County Recovery Resources
The CCC in collaboration with Healthy Acadia has created a comprehensive, up-to-date list of recovery resources with contact info for Washington County. As we know, services have shifted in light of COVID-19. We want to ensure providers and community members are aware of the current available resources to support individuals impacted by substance use disorder. Here is a link to a “live” document that will be updated regularly. Please keep checking back for the most up-to-date information. We will be adding a Hancock County resource list soon! If you are aware of other recovery resources in Washington County or believe an edit needs to be made to this document, please contact Abby Frutchey at firstname.lastname@example.org or Penny Guisinger at email@example.com.
Bolstering General Assistance
Under the Governor’s March 31 Executive Order, all applications for General Assistance will be processed as emergency applications for eligibility purposes, and certain other requirements are waived. The order also allows eligible individuals to reapply after 60 days rather than 30 days for ongoing assistance. General Assistance is funded through communities, with DHHS reimbursing 70 percent of municipalities’ costs. Under the Executive Order, DHHS will use existing funding to increase reimbursement to Maine Tribes to up to 100 percent. General Assistance can be used for basic necessities including food, housing, electricity and medical expenses. Assistance is not provided directly to eligible individuals, but rather it is issued in the form of vouchers used to pay vendors who provide goods and services to eligible individuals.
CCC’s Response to the COVID-19 Situation
In light of CDC recommendations about social distancing, all ECCO services have moved to phone or tele-health connections. Any new referrals will be contacted via phone and follow similar protocols.
CCC staff will continue to work from home, and meetings will be held using Zoom technology until further notice. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us using either the form or email/phone contacts listed on the Contact Us page of our website. We also encourage people to share needs and offers in this newsletter, and remind service providers that we have a needs & offers platform for you on facebook: Poverty Buster Resource Connection.
We encourage people to consult the Maine CDC website which provides helpful guidance in the FAQ section. We are developing our own resources that we will share with you asap and are gearing up to respond to any requests for help with online trainings and convenings as you and your staff lean more on virtual tools to conduct business, provide services and address community needs. To request an online training, please use our Training & Technical Assistance Request form.
About the Wednesday Communique
This is the Community Caring Collaborative’s weekly newsletter where we share announcements about trainings, meetings and other events, including announcements from our collaborative partners. Look for links to meeting minutes and agendas in the Meetings section, training registration forms and flyers in the One-Time Events section, and job postings and announcements about services and programs in the Needs & Offers section. Subscribe here
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This mailing goes out every Wednesday, so if you have announcements, please send them to Christine by 5 pm Monday to be included. Thanks!