Jun 1, 2023 | News
There is one (of many) takeaways I gleaned from recent learning experiences that I wanted to share– Maurice Mitchell, GEO Plenary speaker, spoke about the importance of framing our work in joy and possibility. I see those tenets in the work of MaineShare and our members, and am committed to upholding those values.
Whether you prefer to learn via attending events, virtual webinars, reading articles, or just being in the presence of someone with different life experiences, learning nourishes us and sparks curiosity. It can be a motivator, provide a different lens to see the world, or even reinforce the path you have chosen. I encourage you all to seek opportunities to continue learning, and an easy way to start is to read on for news and updates from our member groups.
Read on here!
Apr 28, 2023 | News
As the ground thaws, flowers emerge, birds rejoin us to wake with the sun, and the other signs of spring greet us, it indeed feels like the oft quoted time of awakening. I also feel the reawakening of community and take such joy in being in space together. As we come back to life after a season of dark and cold and join in gathering, it provides a valuable opportunity to recommit to our values within our communities. Recommit to supporting the amazing organizations in our state who show us the way toward real, sustainable change for good. Read on here!
Apr 21, 2023 | News
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/.
Mar 31, 2023 | News
Here at MaineShare, we are feeling the light and energy in the emergence of spring. There is more sunlight in our days, the sounds of birds greet us as we wake, and we are planning for exciting things to come. One thing that is very exciting and brings us energy is the addition of someone new to the MaineShare team. We are excited to welcome Birdie D’Agostino, Program Engagement Associate! There is lots going on this spring in the worlds of our member groups, so please read on for events and updates! Read on here!
Mar 22, 2023 | News
In this month’s MaineShare member spotlight, we will explore the question of “What has ROSC been up to lately?” As it turns out, and not surprisingly, they have been doing a lot! ROSC- Resources for Organizing and Social Change – is a MaineShare member who has been around since 1977 and focuses on organizing to dismantle root causes of injustice, led by those with lived experiences of these injustices.
A main focus for ROSC lately has been preparing for the 20th convening of the Maine Youth Activism Gathering– or YAG, for short. This gathering, hosted by ROSC and led by and created for youth, will be held April 15 through April 17 at Pine Tree Camp in Rome, ME. “It is a balance of activism and community building”, explains Sass Borodkin, the Executive Director of ROSC. Workshops for this year’s gathering will highlight topics from water justice, harm reduction, and community de-escalation to consent 101, homelife skills, handling community grief and crisis, and more. The event will also incorporate intentional spans of free time, providing space for participants to reflect on and process their learnings, and cultivate relationships with each other. The gathering seeks to provide a welcoming space where youth can learn from each other and build autonomy. If you know of youth who might be interested, please direct them to the website to learn more and register– the workshop fee is on a sliding scale, with participants asked to contribute $0-100 per day based on what they can afford.
Other activities that ROSC has been involved in are convenings of SNAHP- the Solidarity Network Against Hunger and Poverty. This group was responsible for the publication of a 32-page report that provided feedback on the recommendations of the Interim Report on Ending Hunger in Maine by 2030, from those with lived experiences with poverty and hunger. SNAHP continues to gather to organize, engage, and educate around issues that impact those who experience classism and other forms of systemic oppression.
ROSC has also been busy planning for GROW– their grassroots organizing workshops for adults in the fall– as well as participating in advisory councils aimed at anti-hunger and anti-poverty initiatives. They have also been developing educational materials for those holding power about how best to invite the voices of those with lived experience into authentic opportunities to influence oppressive systems in ways that don’t cause further harm or tokenize. Our community is better because of the work that ROSC does day in and day out, and MaineShare is grateful to have them as a member!