NORWAY — A coalition of nonprofits, church leaders and other community members working to alleviate poverty has completed a draft of its resource guide and is closer to defining the group’s goals and boundaries.

The group, which decided on the name Oxford Hills Community Resource Coalition in February, discussed rethinking the name as they decide on a coverage area. Some felt the group should cover only Norway and Paris, others thought the group should extend to all of the Oxford Hills area.

Some suggested shortening the name to the Community Resource Coalition and decide whether to describe a coverage area.

Jean Smart, a Paris selectman, said naming the group isn’t a priority yet. “Our mission is what’s important,” Smart said.

It was an important meeting for the group, which aside from creating the resource manual and securing a grant for a mobile assistance office, has mostly been brainstorming how to run the resource coalition, which will help connect agencies and help the needy find assistance.

Kathy Richardson of the Rotary Club facilitated the meeting at the Christ Episcopal Church on Thursday rather church Rector Anne Stanley, who has been hosting and facilitating group meetings since January.

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The group found consensus on several issues. The group needs a structure with specified roles to run meetings, train volunteers and keep the resource manual up to date.

Attendees also decided that becoming a nonprofit organization with 501(c) status was important in the long run, but not a priority now.

Richardson said it was important to create some structure without creating too narrow a focus while the group is still in its beginning stages. “I think getting too tight, too quick is never a good thing,” she said.

Members didn’t have a chance to discuss a draft copy of the resource manual, compiled by Ed Provencher, an intern for Rumford Group Homes.

The coalition meets next at 2 p.m. on May 26 at Christ Episcopal Church.

treaves@sunjournal.com


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