A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

November 19th Newsletter – MASSCAP

Massachusetts Association for Community Action

Road to Opportunity: Finding the Way Forward

MASSCAP Newsletter – November 19, 2018
See newsletter for full story on each of these items

DID YOU KNOW: Poverty Jeopardizes Health

  • Unsafe Affordable Housing: 7 in 10 housing units in MA were built before the 1978 ban on lead paint.
  • The extreme stress associated with persistent poverty can have lifelong impacts on the well-being of children and families, increasing risk for behavioral health problems.
  • Lack of affordable transportation makes it hard to get to work as well as meet basic needs (food, healthcare).
  • 1 in 10 households in MA are "Food Insecure."  Children can't learn and develop when they are hungry.

More information and access the data: Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward, May 2018

POLICY MATTERS: Programs Remove Obstacles & Improve Health

Public Programs cut poverty approximately in half in MA - keeping 920,000 (including +200,000 children) out of poverty – see newsletter for information on the positive impact of SNAP, WIC and School Meal Programs, EITC and CTC, and Heating Help Programs.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Focusing on the Social Determinants of Health

The social, economic, behavioral, and physical factors that we experience where we work, live, and play make up the majority of what impacts our health.   In MA, these factors are grouped into six big issue areas commonly known as the Social Determinants of Health: Built Environment, Education, Employment, Housing, Violence, and Social Environment (MA Dept. of Public Health).

The goal is for ALL MA residents to have the same opportunities for good health – see newsletter for example of how Community Action Agencies are working every day to improve the conditions in which people live, and therefore improve health.


MASSCAP is a member of the Alliance for Community Health Integration, a coalition working to harness healthcare to address the social determinants of health and promote health equity.  We are also working closely with Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) both locally and statewide to support the health and overall well-being of Mass Health clients (part of Medicaid reform).

Next Forum on Poverty and the Way Forward
To be held in the Berkshires, Jan. 11


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