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?
Unsheltered homelessness: No simple answers
The chalk writing on the doors near the Bayside Trail says, “I’m so ignorant to think we’d make it out of this thing TOGETHER…or alive.” The hearts surrounding the message give hope, but the ‘or alive’ just scratches the surface of the despair we all feel knowing that there is no ready, short-term solution for
TAKE ACTION: Pass LD 2 to fund Site-based Housing First in Maine!
Maine is on the verge of enacting LD 2: An Act to Address Maine’s Housing Crisis. This legislation sponsored by Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross will provide funding for the 24-hour-a-day supportive services that make Site-based Housing First a successful solution for people with complex needs experiencing chronic homelessness. Site-based Housing First is needed for our
It’s time to invest in more shelter beds
The people who have been living at the Bayside Trail encampment deserve dignity and safety. No one should have to sleep outside in Maine or in unsafe or unhealthy conditions. Everyone should have access to toilets and safe drinking water and a roof over their heads. Preble Street will continue to work with the City