Hunger and homelessness are on the rise in our state this winter, leaving thousands of our fellow Mainers without enough food and without shelter or housing. As unsheltered homelessness grows, so does the rise of police interactions as these neighbors of ours are penalized for conducting activities essential to daily living, like sleeping, sitting, or eating. These issues disproportionately impact people of color.
But there is good news! YOU and your network of family and friends can help us create real change this year. Thanks to House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross and other advocates who serve in the Maine legislature, there are several proposed bills this session offering unique opportunities to address many of these issues and create a better future for everyone who lives here. Preble Street and our partners are advocating hard for additional resources and support for the people who need it most and the creation of better systems that will help end hunger, homelessness, and racial inequities.
The efforts Preble Street is supporting this session would:
- Expand and improve the emergency shelter system
- Invest in the creation of more site-based Housing First programs like Florence House, Huston Commons, and Logan Place
- Extend the highly successful Homeless Opioid User Service Engagement (H.O.U.S.E.) program
- Decriminalize homelessness
- Grant tribal sovereignty to the Wabanaki
- Address the inequities experienced by Black, Indigenous, and other community members of color who are disproportionately impacted by our penal system
For a full description of these efforts, click here. As these bills progress through the legislature, we will keep you updated on how to best support your community with information on how/when to testify and who to contact to make your voice heard. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and/or sign up for advocacy alerts to stay informed!
For anyone paying attention over these last few years, it’s become abundantly clear that emergency shelters for people experiencing homelessness are an important part of the public health infrastructure. Shelters didn’t close during the pandemic. Shelter staff and our partners in the healthcare industry did not work remotely. We stayed open, and, in many cases,
Hunger in Maine has grown substantially since the pandemic began and Preble Street is on track to provide over 1 million hot and pantry meals for the third year in a row. Because of this drastic increase in demand for food, Preble Street launched its new Food Security Hub in South Portland, a sustainable, comprehensive,
A vigil to remember friends from the Greater Portland homeless community who have died will take place December 21 at 4:30pm. A crowd will gather in front of the MMC-Preble Street Learning Collaborative at 20 Portland Street and proceed by candlelight to Monument Square. Every year on the Winter Solstice — the longest night of homelessness