Massachusetts Association for Community Action
Road to Opportunity: Finding the Way
Forward Through COVID-19 and Beyond
July 14, 2021
- The effects of the pandemic continue to compound the needs of the people we serve – people living with low income, diverse populations, marginalized communities, and people of color - as well as many families seeking help for the first time.
- The programs we run and services we provide are even more important now to help stabilize lives.
- Community Action Agencies prioritize affordable, accessible, high quality Early Education & Care, providing approximately 1/3 of the low-income child care slots in MA including 2/3 of the Head Start slots. Visit our Early Education & Care page for more information.
- The expanded Child Tax Credit starts helping families with automatic monthly payments this week (July 15). Learn more at childtaxcredit.gov or contact your Community Action Agency.
The state funding for policy and programs is crucial in finding the way forward in Massachusetts, especially now when so many are being negatively impacted by COVID-19.
We are thankful to the Conference Committee along with both the House and the Senate for a caring, impactful FY22 Budget that prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable.
Strengthening Critical Human Services Infrastructure
- $6.5M to Address inequality, promote opportunity and end poverty by supporting Community Action Agencies (7002-0025)
- Inclusion of a New Commission to Address Inequality, Create Opportunity, and End Poverty
Strengthening Families through Affordable and Accessible Early Education and Care
- $20M to Support Early Education Teacher Salary Line Item (3000-1042)
- Parent Fees Funded through December (3000-1044)
- $15M to Support Head Start Line Item (3000-5000)
- $12M to Support Child Care Resource Referral Access Management in Early Education Program (3000-2000)
Bridging the Wage Gap
- +$1M in Resources for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) (1201-0100)
- Learn more at www.masscap.org/freetaxprep
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Changes Lives
Kimberly's license to practice massage therapy required renewal just before the COVID-19 pandemic. Like so many, she lived with reduced income while on unemployment and waited for public safety measures to allow for workplaces to re-open. To save money, she sought the free service of the VITA program at Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC) where a volunteer tax preparer filed her 2020 taxes as well the two previous seasons. The BCAC volunteer also made sure the Recovery Rebate was utilized to receive her stimulus payment. Using part of her tax return to pay for her massage therapy recertification license fee, Kimberly has since returned to work.
It may be hot now but heating bills still need attention! Act Now: Get help with heating bills as well as conserving energy. Learn more at heatinghelpma.org.
Looking for Affordable, Accessible, High Quality Child Care? Visit Early Education & Care.