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Find Out Reasons Behind Homelessness In Maine

Being homeless is generally believed to be chronic or episodic. But the fact is that some of those unfortunate individuals are families with children. The majority have been forced into homelessness and poverty by a series of events in their lives, all unexpected and unplanned for. There are many reasons behind homelessness in Maine and other states of the US, and contrary to popular belief, it is not always caused by mental or physical disabilities.

One of the most obvious reasons for homelessness is the shortage of housing. Many poor families cannot afford to rent or buy a property. This is why the National Law Center has introduced new projects to help increase the number of cheap housing, job training as well as child care facilities in Maine and surrounding states.

The other reasons for being homeless are caused by loss of loved ones, domestic violence, divorce, abuse, or job loss. Other factors such as depression or mental illness can also be responsible for the large portion of homeless people. These factors among others push people into living on the streets as they feel they have nowhere else to go and no one to turn to. By acknowledging these, every community can help facilitate the end of homelessness in the country.

Those living in poverty may not have always been poor. The circumstances in an individual's life may be the reason they end up on the streets. Even minor issues such as an unpaid parking ticket or a broken down car might be enough to make someone homeless.

Nowadays, divorce costs and a family's low income can play havoc with their finances. Some families cannot manage to pay their bills due to serious illnesses or disabilities, thus they get pushed out on the streets. Today, the recession has also caused unexpected loss of jobs and increasing number of foreclosures which have all left many families without a roof over their heads. Natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes often cause the crash of the property market and the costly repairs are not possible, especially if you have recently lost your job or become ill.

Your level of income has a great effect on the risk of losing your home and becoming homeless. This is one of the reasons that the Law Center has introduced a special project focusing on offering income support to underprivileged families. Food stamps, welfare, tax credit as supplementary income are provided as part of the governments campaign to get the homeless receive what they are entitled to. People suffering from mental illness will also be eligible to receiving Mental Illness Disability Benefits.

Over the past 20 years, the level of homelessness in Maine has risen, despite the governments increased focus on this issue. There are many provisions that have been implemented in Maine. Affordable accommodation as well as new strategies to help people leave the streets will take many years to become fruitful. Over the next few years or so, an additional one million Americans in different parts of US will become homeless. According to statistics, 15 percent of Maine's homeless youth belong to ethnic minorities. This is 5 percent of the overall population in this state.

But there are ways that you can help with the available resources. People living in the streets cannot wait for a few more years. Their needs are urgent and they need the help of their community. When your community provides the most basic principles such as water, clothing and a safe shelter for the homeless, this will give them encouragement and hope for the future.

There are many homeless charities in Maine that work with the most vulnerable people in the society, offering them more than a roof over their heads. These shelters give advice about things such as the consequences of living on the streets, where to receive guidance and how to escape alcoholism or drug abuse. This way, the individual in distress can rebuild his or her life with the support of these charities.

If you have free time available in the week or over the weekends, it is a good idea to volunteer at your local shelter. When the entire community volunteers their spare time at the local homeless center, it shows that there are people who really care about the underprivileged. You can even collect money from all your friends and neighbors and donate it to the charity center.

Maine Housing service providers also play their part by organizing different strategies to eliminate homelessness in Maine. Some of their efforts include continuous monitoring of the care groups in each area. The COC (Continuum of Care) are using a number of different programs to address this issue and they have applied to the US. Department of Housing for funding.

Local agencies that wish to have access to these funds can refer to their COCs for Supportive Housing scheme to help transfer the homeless person from the streets into their independent living program. The Shelter Plus Care is another service provider offering aid with rent, social services and housing support for people with disabilities. The SRO (Single Room Occupancy) service provider offers single room occupancy to homeless individuals.

It is essential that these providers update and innovate their programs on a regular basis. So instead of just focusing on chronic homelessness in Maine, it is just as important to focus on families with children living on the streets. The National Law Center needs to raise the number of affordable housing as well as incomes so that underprivileged people can pay their bills, rent and manage other expenses.

In addition to above services, Maine Housing uses funds that are provided by federal and state sources for accommodating homeless people in emergency situations. These funds are called Emergency Shelter Grants provided by HUD as the first constructive step in preventing homelessness in Maine and to give families a chance to move forward in their lives. Many business sponsors can also donate money as well as building materials and equipment for constructing more shelters across the country. With the generosity of corporate companies and individuals, many shelters such as Hope Haven Gospel Mission will have the means to provide temporary accommodation to the homeless.

Hours of Operation

Shelter Hours:
Monday thru Saturday: 5:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M Sunday: 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. 


Soup Kitchen:
Daily Breakfast: 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM

Monday - Saturday Supper: 4:30 to 5:30 PM
Sunday Supper: 2:30 PM


Office Hours:
Closed December 25th to January 2nd

Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30 AM to 11:45 AM -- 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM


Give Away Room Hours:
Closed December 25th to January 4th
Monday, Wednesday and  Friday 9:30 AM to 11:45 AM & 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM 

Facts you should know

Up to 2 Million People Are Homeless At Any Given Time


44 Percent Of The Homeless Are Single Men - Single Women Make Up 13 Percent - Families With Children Are 36 Percent - Unaccompanied Minors Account For 7 Percent.


50 Percent Of The Homeless Are African-American, 35 Percent Are White, 12 Percent Are Hispanic, 2 Percent Are Native American And 1 Percent Is Asian.


The Average Income For A Homeless Individual Was $348 During The Last 30 Days, That's About 51 Percent Of The 1996 Federal Poverty Level of $680/Month For One Person.


44 Percent Did Paid Work During The Past Month.


7 Percent Of The Homeless Population Have Been Sexually Assaulted.


 3.5 Million People (1.35 Million Of Which Are Children) Will Experience Homelessness In A Given Year.


Children Under The Age Of 18 Account For 39% Of The Homeless Population. 42% Of These Are Under The Age Of 5.


22% Of Homeless Women Claim Domestic Abuse As Reason For Their Homelessness.


Facts gathered from

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