The Unhoused Population in Maine vs. Cold Weather, What’s the Solution?
The temperatures in Maine are dropping and the homeless population is still rising.
According to an article by Central Maine, state and local officials are searching for a solution to get people off the streets in time for winter, with one option being an emergency homeless shelter.
Long-term solutions are needed as we see less and less affordable housing across the state but an immediate answer is necessary as the days and nights start to freeze and our neighbors are stuck sleeping outside.
There are multiple problems causing obstacles in an already worsening situation.
As the article mentions, two Augusta hotels opted out of working with programs to house homeless folks in long-term stay options and landlords don’t want to work with these programs, either.
Additionally, those with low income have housing vouchers but they are unable to find affordable housing with rent under the limit and again, landlords are not interested in helping out.
The growing number of unhoused folks in Portland is an ongoing issue that needs to be dealt with now before it continues to get exponentially worse.
The article by Central Maine states that an At-Large City Councilor of Augusta proposed a task force that would work with community partners to create and submit an application for a grant to create a low-barrier and large shelter.
Something needs to be done and actions need to be taken immediately as rent increases, shelters continue to work at reduced capacities, and rent relief diminishes.
Regardless of the solution, our neighbors in the street need warm gear as the temperatures drop. Just like the Patriots organization, you can donate winter clothing for those living outside here in Maine at this link through Preble Street.