ADVOCATING FOR SOLUTIONS
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.
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.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
On Tuesday, April 26, homelessness and housing advocates are preparing an unprecedented Congressional advocacy push around the federal budget. Please call your Representative and both Senators on that day to request increased funding for homelessness and housing! More specifically, you can ask them to join the “Dear Colleague” letter supporting $3.6 billion for homeless assistance
“In my time working here, I’ve been able to provide people with many things. I’ve given people vouchers, I’ve helped people move into apartments, I’ve helped somebody repair their vehicle. I’ve provided all of these material things. But time and time again, when people talk to me about what was most important to them, it’s been
Preble Street stands in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes in Ukraine. This global crisis stands in direct opposition to the work that Preble Street does to eradicate homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty, in Portland, Maine. War of any kind destroys housing and leads to food insecurity and hunger,