St. George Community Development Corporation

Mission, Vision & Goals

Our Vision

A resilient, caring community that comes together to solve problems and take collective actions that support and protect both the heritage and the future of the St. George Community.

Our Mission

The mission of the St. George Community Development Corporation is to help make the town of St. George and its villages livable for all residents. We lead and fund innovative projects that enhance resiliency through: cultivating community and economic development, ensuring the presence of workforce housing, expanding educational opportunities, and increasing access to health and wellness services. The St. George Community Development Corporation helps to consolidate and coordinate community efforts to address these challenges while also inspiring the community to come together to build mutually supportive, sustainable programs. The StGCDC serves as an information center about existing resources and as a nexus to support programs that help ensure our community’s long-term success.  In that spirit, we work closely with the existing local institutions, including the Town of St. George, the St. George Municipal School, the St George Volunteer Firefighters & Ambulance Association, the Jackson Memorial Library, the St. George Business Alliance, the local churches, and other local community groups. Together, we identify and prioritize needs and opportunities.

Broad Overview

The Community Development Corporation came into existence after community conversations made clear the need for more services within our villages. Through our Community Advisory Committee, we gathered information from community members about these needs. From this, we developed our “Five Pillars”: Community Development, Economic Development, Education Development, Healthcare Access & Wellness, and Housing. We try to focus on local challenges and provide services for all our residents, whether year-round or seasonal.

How is your age-friendly initiative structured?

The Community Development Corporation is a 501(c)(3) that is overseen by a five-member board of directors. Our Community Advisory Committee is made up of 25 volunteer community members who get together quarterly to talk about programming and what they see as needs in the community. Each of our five pillars has a working group of 5-10 community members who work on new projects. There is one paid administrative staff who facilitates communication between working groups to make sure information is shared effectively.

Describe any partnerships you have developed?

St. George Aging in Place
Town of St. George
St. George Granges
St. George Churches
Jackson Memorial Library
St. George Municipal School Unit
St. George Business Alliance
University of Maine Blueberry Cove Camp
St. George Neighbor to Neighbor

What is the role of volunteers?

The Community Advisory Committee is made up of 25 volunteers who represent different areas of the community. In addition, we have 40 volunteers who work with the food pantry, 8 volunteers who work to address broadband, and countless volunteers who do community meals. Our initiative is nearly 100% volunteer powered.

Strategies that have contributed to your success? Barriers you have encountered?

Our greatest strategy for success has been the development of the local food pantry. Those in the community who started this initiative worked hard to get it up and running. Not only has this been a service that addresses food insecurity in our community but it has allowed us to learn about other needs residents have when they visit the food pantry. This success has allowed us to connect people to additional services. Residents now identify us as a trust-worthy resource they can utilize.

Barriers/Challenges:

Our greatest challenge has been communication; although we have a web presence, do mailings via the postal service, and put up posters announcing events, we are not yet reaching everyone in our community. The reluctance many feel about asking for help is also a challenge.

Types of funding that your initiative has received

Thus far, our funding has all been via private donations. In 2020, we will also receive a social services appropriation from our town.

Community Initiatives

Transportation

While not a part of the St. George Community Development Corporation, the ride-share program Neighbor to Neighbor works closely with it. Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) was started by community members in 2012. In 2016, the organization filed for federal 501(c)(3) status. This organization provides free rides to residents of St. George. There is no public transportation on the St. George peninsula, making it difficult to get to shops and services if you do not drive. Neighbor to Neighbor is an all-volunteer organization. In 2018, N2N provided 199 rides, a 25% increase from the previous year.  N2N added 13 new drivers last year and several new riders.

Health & Wellness

The St. George Community Cupboard is our local food pantry. The Community Cupboard is run by local volunteers and is open each week on Thursdays. In addition to food, the pantry carries some hygiene products. After 6 months in operation, the community cupboard now serves 61 households. Our growth has led us to hire a part-time Food Pantry Manager who can focus exclusively on the needs of our clients, and to apply for membership to the Good Shepherd Food Bank.

We offer assistance for heating fuel, insurance enrollment workshops through Spectrum Generations, fall prevention classes with Aging in Place, and dental clinics. Available in our community are classes in chair yoga, Zumba Gold, senior bus trips, and winter coat drives.

Outreach & Resource Information

The St. George Community Development Corporation provides a resource center for residents of all ages in the community. All are welcome to come to our centrally located office. Those who need assistance can work with our administrative staff to identify and get connected to the services they need.

Social, Educational & Recreational

The Aging in Place group does educational programming for the community; recent events have focused on options for in-home care, the local paramedicine program, and detecting scams.

There are many opportunities for socialization in our community. Every year the CDC hosts a Thanksgiving meal and a community cookout. The town’s recreation department hosts monthly senior luncheons. The Granges host Bean Suppers; and the Baptist Church hosts a soup kitchen all winter long. The library offers several programs for socialization, including a men’s discussion group, a knitting group, a poetry group, Bridge games, and a Mah Jong group.

The St. George Community Development Corporation holds quarterly Community Advisory Meetings which is a great way for residents to come and learn about the community as well as voice their opinions about the areas we could work together to improve.

Food, Gardening & Cooking

We have recently launched our St. George community garden at the library in town. Community members can sign up for a plot and grow whatever food they wish. In addition, our library has many cooking classes that community members can take to learn how to cook different meals.

Family, Caregiving Support & Respite

We do not have any of our own caregiver services. However, we do connect community members to other resources in our area, such as the Rockland District Nursing Association.

Fraud, Abuse & Exploitation

Our Aging in Place group provides a program once a year to inform the community about scams. We can also connect community members to a low cost legal services if they need assistance.

Accessibility & Walkability

While St. George would have a walk score of 15, at best, the town strives to be ADA compliant. Our sidewalks all have ramps and are wheelchair accessible. Our local transfer station has a second-hand store where community members can purchase second-hand medical equipment such as wheelchairs or canes for low cost.

Communication

Residents can visit our website, Facebook page, and Twitter page for more information about us, our services, and events. We encourage people to visit the St. George message board on Facebook as it is updated frequently to keep people aware of what is going on in the community. Along with this, we encourage community members to attend our annual public meetings which are open to the town.

Region

Contact

Alane Kennedy
Operations Manager
St. George Community Development Corporation
47 Main St. PO Box 160, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860
info@stgeorgecommunity.org
207-372-2193