Since its founding in 2008, ProsperityME has been dedicated to helping New Mainers- immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers- build rewarding lives in their new communities. With the proper resources and support through the transition to a new homeland, our new neighbors can thrive. Systemic and policy failures and lack of state resources can impede successful transitions, however. Currently, one of the major challenges to this population is the housing crisis, and ProsperityME has become a first responder to this crisis.
The primary factor of instability in the New Mainer population is housing instability. One pressing and urgent concern is that for those families currently sheltered in local hotels, this option ends at the end of April, with no solutions or answer as to where to go next. ProsperityME has been working day and night to find alternative housing options for these families where they can find shelter and safety. One of the ways they help is the Housing Navigator Service, a partnership with several organizations in Maine.
Housing Navigators provide culturally-appropriate counseling to individuals and families to assist them in finding permanent and stable housing, facilitating relationships with landlords, and educating them about tenant rights. They also refer clients to appropriate community and state housing resources and assist them in completing the rental process. Through this service, ProsperityME has helped over 100 families this year in their housing service and helped find stable housing for over 30 individuals. For more information on which organizations provide this service in different Maine counties, please visit: https://www.mainehousing.org/programs-services/rental/rentaldetail/housing-navigator-pilot-program.
Another program of ProsperityME that has been greatly helping our neighbors is the Peer Workforce Navigator Project. This program is a coalition 5 Maine non-profit organizations and the Maine Department of Labor. The Peer Workforce Navigator program at ProsperityME helps those who are experiencing unemployment by providing career search resources, educational opportunities, and facilitating meetings with potential new employers. They also assist clients with securing unemployment insurance, healthcare, and training as needed. ProsperityME has been holding weekly clinics in-house on Fridays to offer these services, which have been particularly beneficial for the many New Mainers who were recently impacted by major layoffs at Abbott Laboratories.
ProsperityME provides invaluable services to our community and neighbors, and has been a key resource in providing safety and stability to New Mainers since its inception. MaineShare is proud to represent and support this member group in its tireless work. To learn more about this amazing organization, please visit: https://www.prosperityme.org/.