One of the sad facts about life in Maine in 2024 is the sheer number of people who are experiencing homelessness.

Fortunately, many people in our communities are doing what they can to help combat the problem.  Politicians, business owners, church groups, and prisoners.

Yes, even the ‘guests’ of the Maine houses of correction are doing what they can to help alleviate the problem.

According to WGME, one of the supervisors at the Maine State Prison came up with the idea to do a fundraiser where the inmates could make a donation to help those who are experiencing homelessness.  They were give the opportunity to donate through the prison’s commissary.  Prison staff was able to make donations, too.

As we understand it, they were all eager to be able to help those in need.

The article quotes Maine State Prison Supervisor Forrest Burns as saying:

It was a really good sense of pride and duty.  Where our mission at the DOC is to help empower and enable these men to be contributing members of their communities and society.

By the end of the fundraiser, about $12,000 had been collected.  That money was used to create 650 warming kits that would be distributed to homeless people throughout Maine.

Considering how rural out state is, the number of those without adequate housing is staggering.  According to an April 2023 article from Maine Biz, about 32 of every 10,000 Mainers is experiencing homelessness.  That equates to about 4,400 Mainers.  As those numbers are about a year old, there is a good chance that the number could be even higher.

While anyone being homeless is tragic, the really sad part is that a fair number of those people are elderly or children.  In the cases of the children, many still attend school on a regular basis.  However, instead of going to a warm, safe, home after school, they return to the vehicle or encampment where the family lives.

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