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2020-2021 Needs Assessment

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest recently conducted a Needs Assessment of the Concord and Carlisle communities. We embarked on this initiative to ensure that the Community Chest is positioned successfully for the future and to continue our role as a community galvanizer.

This effort involved:

  • An analysis of the grant making process to the Concord and Carlisle communities over time;
  • A thorough review and consolidation of community-related data from the local, regional, state, and federal databases;
  • In-person and virtual interviews with more than 40 Community Chest stakeholders.

Needs Assessment research examined issue areas affecting the Carlisle and Concord communities:

Mental Health, Food Insecurity, Transportation, Housing, and overall Affordability

A variety of populations were studied:

Elders, Youth, Low Income, Refugees/Asylees, Chronically Disabled, and Community Members experiencing a short-term hurdle

Several top themes emerged:

  • Mental health services are significantly inadequate;
  • Demand for direct services has increased;
  • Shame is a significant barrier to accessing resources;
  • Seniors have a lot of support yet need more;
  • High cost of housing and living in Concord and Carlisle lead to challenges;
  • Newcomers struggle to thrive in the community.

What’s next?

  • We will be sharing this information with the community, grantees, and community leaders; 
  • We will embark on a review and assessment of the Community Chest’s Grant Allocation Program for now and in future years;
  • There will be opportunities for collaboration and discussion between organizations and within the towns to bring attention, funding, and change to key gaps in the community.

The Needs Assessment uncovered vital information about the community’s needs and brought attention to both the successful areas of coverage along with gaps in that coverage. This effort was a step towards acknowledging where and how the Community Chest can support Concord and Carlisle to be communities where everyone can thrive.

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