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Meet CPPC Community Builder Jeanne MacDonald-Johnson

Jeanne MacDonald-Johnson, a Community Builder for Community Partnerships for Protecting Children (CPPC), has found residence at YCCAC’s Spruce Street complex, in an office in the Department of Economic Opportunity. “Before coming to Community Action, I was working mostly out of my vehicle,” Jeanne smiled. “I used the local library, and I was at Cumberland Farm for a while,” she laughed. Founded in 1995 by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, with support from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Community Partnership approach starts with the premise that children’s safety depends on strong families, and strong families depend on connections with a broad range of people and organizations. CPPC partners know that no two families are alike: each has its own struggles, needs, strengths, and goals. They place families at the center of their work by helping a family create a plan and rallying resources to help solve their complex problem. “Community building is really a 10 year cycle of work,” Jeanne said. “In the first few years, I establish relationships and trust with neighbors, highlight their strengths and gifts, and help them connect to each other, opportunities, and resources. This increases protective factors for families. Community building is successful when the community builder is no longer needed, because neighbors are empowered to build and maintain relationships with each other, connect to the wider community, have knowledge of the different resources to access in times of need, and leverage their strengths and gifts to make the neighborhood stronger and safer.” Jeanne has worked with CPPC since August of 2018. She began attending CPPC meetings while working for Sanford Adult Ed as a resource advisor and instructor. “I loved doing the resource work with Adult Ed, and I thought that with CPPC I could do even more of that, with a wider scope,” Jeanne explained. “With Adult Ed I was only working with the student population, but this job gives me the opportunity to work with all of Sanford.” A native Mainer, Jeanne grew up in Old Orchard Beach and now makes her home with her family in Sanford. “I’m really happy to be here—at Community Action,” Jeanne said. “It’s a nice place to be.”

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