ADVOCATING FOR SOLUTIONS
Click here to learn more about Preble Street Legislative Priorities for the 131st session of the Maine Legislature
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
- 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.
2022 Maine Voting Guide
2022 Maine Voting Guide adapted for people experiencing homelessness
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.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Once-homeless Mainers ‘get to dream again’ at this model program
by Lori Valigra, Bangor Daily News After losing her Oxford Hills home in a fire 10 years ago, Michelle Ducas spent the money she had before landing in a Lewiston shelter, then headed to Portland thinking it would be easier to find a good job. It proved harder than she expected. The 38-year-old ended up
Take Action for equitable healthcare access!
People experiencing homelessness face devastating physical and mental health consequences. They have higher rates of chronic illness and a life expectancy that is an average of 28 years shorter than people who are housed. These individuals also face high barriers to accessing critical healthcare and often delay seeking treatment. A recent study by Preble Street found
Maine needs more site-based Housing First
More site-based Housing First programs in Maine will help us to end long-term, chronic homelessness in our state.