Portland emergency shelters overflowing, no relief for homelessness in sight

PORTLAND – On the wall behind city Health and Human Services Director Doug Gardner’s desk is a classroom-sized whiteboard. On Monday, there were 10 high-priority projects, issues, and initiatives written on it. Five of them – emergency shelter overflow, a veteran’s affairs case worker at the Oxford Street shelter, the Homeless Task Force, a meeting … Read more

Food Stamps and the Farm Bill

The version of the farm bill that emerged from the Senate Agriculture Committee contains $4.5 billion in cuts to the food stamps program over 10 years. That amount is a small fraction of the nation’s spending on food stamps, currently nearly $80 billion a year, but would, nevertheless, be devastating for nearly half-a-million households that … Read more

Telling the Truth About Homelessness

Foreclosures and unemployment are pushing middle class and low-income Americans out of their homes, and emergency shelters and food pantries are seeing record increases in demand for their services. Yet some recent reports suggest that homelessness is not increasing significantly. This is due to both flaws in the data they rely on and the narrow … Read more

Citizens Tell Lawmakers: ‘Put Maine First’

More than 150 people from all over Maine brought a simple message to state lawmakers on Monday: “Put Maine First.” These citizen-lobbyists attended a legislative briefing organized by a coalition of groups working in the public interest and then made their way to the State House to have their voices heard. EngageMaine’s Ben Dudley: “In … Read more

Portland's Homeless Persons Annual Memorial Vigil

Portland’s Homeless Persons Annual Memorial Vigil is a time to remember our homeless friends who have died and to recommit ourselves to the task of ending homelessness. On the night of the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, a candlelight procession starts at the Preble Street Resource Center and proceeds to Monument Square where a memorial … Read more