Advocacy

ADVOCATING FOR SOLUTIONS

2022 Maine Voting Guide
2022 Maine Voting Guide adapted for people experiencing homelessness

Preble Street is committed to motivating both the public and private will to end hunger, homelessness, and poverty in the lives of our neighbors and to building strong, equitable, just communities. 

Healthy communities depend on dignity, equity, and opportunity for all. In order to end the tragedy of long lines at shelters and soup kitchens, racial injustices, children experiencing hunger, and human trafficking, we must listen to the voices of the people directly impacted by those problems. These individuals are the experts of their own experiences, and we must support their participation in creating and implementing solutions. 

Preble Street advocacy efforts work toward solutions to the social, economic, and political systems that have historically perpetuated the inequities of our society. Our advocacy work includes community organizing, policy advocacy, and systems advocacy. 

Why do Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Persist?  

The issues of hunger, homelessness, and poverty persist in our country because of:   

  • Intergenerational poverty & wealth disparities  
  • Structural racism & the continued impact of White Supremacy   
  • Concentration of wealth into the hands of a few  
  • Gentrification   
  • Social policies that direct wealth upward  
  • Disinvestment from social services  
  • “Bootstraps” mentality   
  • Impact of COVID-19 

The experience of poverty is intergenerational, and poverty is expensive. When a person’s resources are being stretched to make ends meet, any unexpected expense could mean total financial ruin.  

We also know that the social systems that shape our society like white supremacy culture have tangible effects on homelessness and poverty. In Maine, Black and African American individuals are ten times more likely to experience homelessness than their White peers.  

Meanwhile, gentrification is turning Portland and many other Maine towns into places where only the wealthy can afford to live and work, while the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to increase the need for housing and food assistance in our communities. Despite all this, there is a prevailing idea that everyone can just “pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” a philosophy that places the blame of homelessness and poverty on the individuals experiencing it rather than the larger systems that perpetrate racial, social, and economic injustices.  

Legislative Priorities - Maine Legislature

The barriers faced by the people we serve are numerous and complex. By focusing on key issues and enacting pertinent legislation during the 130th Legislative Session, we can lessen these barriers and empower the people and communities we serve. Learn more about the priority bills for Preble Street this year.

Homeless Voices for Justice

Homeless Voices for Justice is a state-wide, grassroots, social change movement, organized and led by people with lived experience of homelessness.

Maine Hunger Initiative

The Maine Hunger Initiative is a collaborative effort to meet immediate food needs while creating long-term solutions to hunger.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

10 Things to Know about Youth Homelessness in Maine

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. Educate yourself and your community about the issue of youth homelessness and what we can do to end it in Maine!  Every year in Maine, at least 15,000 youth and young adults experience the tragedy of homelessness; in fact, this year more than 30% of Maine’s homeless population

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Preble Street Votes: Election Guide!

November 8 is Election Day and it is important for everyone to get out and vote! Here are some key things to remember for Maine voters: YOU DON’T NEED A HOME TO VOTE! You can register to vote on Election Day Early voting is available until November 3 at your local town hall/city clerk’s office

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Homeless Voices for Justice gets out the vote!

“For there to be meaningful policy change, the rules have to be crafted somewhat by the people who are impacted most.” – Jim Devine, Homeless Voices for Justice Advocate   Over the past week, Homeless Voices for Justice (HVJ) hosted its annual Candidates Forums. This year’s forums offered a chance for Portland City Council candidates and

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