Community Initiatives

Parkside Neighborhood Center

The Parkside Neighborhood Center works to strengthen individuals & families living in the Parkside neighborhood of Portland by offering educational and cultural opportunities to connect diverse neighbors and promote social and physical well-being. Programs offered include but are not limited to emergency assistance with basic needs, after-school programming, Neighborhood Connection Night, employment and mentoring services, and health and budgeting classes.   DHHS Child Protective Services and a Head Start classroom are located in the Center. The Center's programming adapts to emerging needs, the list of current program offerings is subject to change. 

Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC)

Currently serving  residents in Southern Maine, Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC) is a partnership that is focused on bringing together all available resources to keep children safe and thriving in their own families, neighborhoods, and communities. 

CPPC is a locally driven, national initiative built upon the recognition that the traditional state-agency, enforcement-oriented approach to child welfare is not the best way to prevent child abuse and neglect.  Instead, CPPC's approach aims to enhance the lives of children and their families by engaging neighbors and communities to support families before there is a need for more disruptive and costly intervention. CPPC neighbors work to identify their own concerns, and partner with community based groups to create innovative solutions for families and communities.

CPPC neighbors and partners create a sense of community, build informal supports, and link families to service providers. For any family, supports may include: shared babysitting, counseling, neighbor supplied meals, substance abuse resources, clothing vouchers, recreation opportunities, early education, parenting skills development, budgeting, safety training and support.

CPPC is a partnership driven by the people who live, work, or pray in the communities served. Families and neighbors supported by a strong community are more resilient, stronger advocates, and more effective problem solvers.

CPPC has its own website: http://www.cppcmaine.org

Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN)

Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN): 

MYAN’s mission is to partner with youth to create change in their communities. MYAN accomplishes this through training, networking, and leadership development for youth and adults. By offering programming in creating change, leadership development, youth adult partnership, and awareness building, MYAN helps youth across the state to find their voice and make an impact. MYAN runs four main programs: MYAN Youth Leaders Alliance (MYLA), Super Power Partner program (SPP), Organizing Partnership and Engagement in Neighborhoods (OPEN), and the MYAN Youth Leadership Summit.

MYAN has its own website:  www.myan.org

Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions

Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions provide meaningful volunteer opportunities for people age 55 and over, interested in meeting critical community needs. Foster Grandparents focus their efforts in schools and child development centers, Head Start centers. Senior Companions focus their efforts in adult day programs as well as visitng individuals in their homes. Both programs are in York and Cumberland counties. Volunteers living at less than 200% of poverty are eligible to receive a non-taxable stipend and mileage reimbursement in return for a 15 – 40 hour a week commitment. 

Public Health Program

Serving the Lakes Region communities of Baldwin, Bridgton, Casco, Harrison, Naples, Raymond, Sebago, Standish & Windham & the outer Portland communities of Cape Elizabeth, Gorham, Scarborough, South Portland & Westbrook, the Public Health Program is a coalition of communities in western Cumberland County with representatives from health care organizations, nonprofit agencies, schools, law enforcement, and youth. The coalition's purpose is to reduce tobacco use, to increase physical activity, to promote healthy eating, to prevent underage drinking and substance abuse, and to raise awareness of public health. We accomplish this work through education, support of prevention programs, resource sharing, and advocacy.

The Public Health Program's work is guided by objectives determined by the Maine Center for Disease Control and the Drug Free Communities Support Program. Its strategies are carefully selected based on what are known to be the most effective prevention and intervention practices and programs. The Public Health Program focuses on policy and environmental change to ensure population-based outcomes. Its goal is to raise awareness of various chronic disease issues through educational activities and advocacy, as opposed to delivering one on one services.

2-1-1 Maine

A statewide health and human services information and referral system. It is an easy-to-remember three digit telephone number that helps people in accessing health and human services in their community.

  • The 2-1-1 information line is accessible 24/7 from landlines, cell phones (carrier charges may apply) and phone service provided by Internet carriers.  
  • The line is TTY accessible by dialing 2-1-1 and is accessible by video relay by dialing 1-866-811-5695.
  • 2-1-1 includes a statewide resource directory of over 8000 resources including agency services and support groups accessible through this website to anyone with Internet capability.
  • 2-1-1 provides emergency support during times of natural and other disasters, including accurate and timely information for preparations, and longer term referral for follow-up services if required.
  • 2-1-1 provides valuable information for community planning and for future matching of resource development and unmet needs.

Visit 2-1-1 Maine online at www.211maine.org

Next Step Loan

The Next Step Loan Fund is a low interest micro loan program created to help small business owners in Cumberland County start or expand their business, offering a “next step” to a more secure, economically independent life.

Resident-Led Community Building (RLCB)

RLCB attempts to help transform target neighborhoods into communities where individuals and families know each other, care about each other and eventually take care of each other. It does not operate as a stand alone program, but rather serves as a catalyst to empower communities to achieve what they want for their children, families and neighborhoods. RLCB gets residents better connected to existing resources and leverages the natural assets that exist in our neighborhoods.

Work Life Advisor Program

The Work Life Advisor works with people to overcome barriers in theiir search for employment by: identifying pervasive barriers to employment not related to compentency or market demand; and developing and implementing strategies to address these barriers.

Cultural Broker

Many new Mainers upon arrival to our neighborhoods lack the language skills and cultural competencies to effectively engage the complex network of social supports and government systems. This can lead to missed opportunities and/or missing critical deadlines that can lead to irrevocable consequences.  In an attempt to mitigate some of these factors and reduce barriers to stable housing, economic independence and citizenship for new Mainers, The Opportunity Alliance developed the Cultural Broker position to support refugees, asylees and immigrants in the process of obtaining the necessary social and economic resources to become self-sufficient citizens. Claudette has served in this position since its inception in early 2016. 

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Sep 20, 2018: TOA Achieves National Accreditation

The Opportunity Alliance (TOA) has achieved national accreditation through the Council on... MORE

Jun 29, 2018: Mike Tarpinian, President and CEO, Retires in 2019

At its Annual Meeting, The Opportunity Alliance’s Board of Directors announced that President and CEO, Mike Tarpinian will be retiring next year. MORE