A Sagadahoc County team of community partners was selected by Gov. Janet Mills and Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to receive a $375,000 Maine Working Communities Challenge grant that will be used to improve mental health in local youth.

In a press release, the Sagadahoc team spokesperson, Jamie Dorr, executive director of Midcoast Youth Center, said the team plans to focus on reducing the rate of youth hopelessness by 15% over the next 10 years by creating a comprehensive web of support that includes education, mentoring, training, jobs and healthcare.

“Our goal is for one call for help to unlock, and set in motion, a wide range of support systems and removes the numerous barriers often faced by families with low-to-moderate incomes, families of color, and members of our LGBTQ communities,” Dorr said. “Our work has been targeted to the city of Bath, as the Sagadahoc County seat, with the aim of our initiative spreading out and connecting all areas of our county.”

The Sagadahoc team identified a disengaged youth and young adult community, struggling to find success in school or in the workplace, with high rates of depression and anxiety, substance use and involvement in the juvenile justice system. “In 10 years, it hopes Sagadahoc County youth will be thriving, well-equipped, and eager to enter the workforce, resulting in a flourishing local economy and a healthy community,” the release states.

The Working Communities Challenge is a three-year grant initiative supported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the State of Maine, national and local philanthropy, and private sector employers that aims to strengthen Maine’s rural towns.

“The Challenge is bringing together the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Maine State government, private sector businesses, and community-based organizations to tackle the toughest issues our rural communities face and to strengthen them for years to come,” Mills said in a news conference to announce selected teams on March 3. “I am proud to support this initiative through my Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, thank everyone for their collaborative work, and look forward to seeing the excellent work accomplished as a result of these grants.”

Six Maine Working Communities Challenge teams received three-year, $375,000 grants to begin implementing proposals that address local economic problems, including poverty and lack of work opportunity.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: