We learned a lot at our Community Listening Sessions this fall
Maine Equal Justice believes in basing our work on what Mainers with low income need and the solutions they want to see. This year, we worked with the Equal Justice Partner Circle – a group of leaders from around the state who have experienced poverty – and with social service providers from around the state to start setting our legislative agenda. We asked about the biggest problems in the areas of food, housing, health care, and income support. We shared what we see as legislative opportunities to address those problems, and we asked for help to think of even more.
Maine Equal Justice started this process at the final session of the Equal Justice Partner Circle in August. Representatives of that group then joined staff for Listening Sessions in South Portland and Bangor to hear from service providers about the systemic solutions that would most benefit the people they serve. We heard from social workers, medical professionals, municipal administrators, community health workers, and many others about the challenges they see.
While there were many challenges including limited access to affordable healthcare, housing, transportation and food, there were also many solutions offered. People expressed strong support for expanding MaineCare, reforming the system to offer real pathways out of poverty, and creating a state-funded housing voucher program.
To make this happen, we need to stay connected with people who care – like you. Maine Equal Justice will be hosting monthly opportunities to engage – sometimes by phone, sometimes in person in a variety of towns around the state. We hope to create an ongoing conversation with the people most connected to our work – Mainers with low income – to ensure we are acting effectively and responsibly on their behalf. Please keep watch for information about how to stay engaged and help us find solutions to poverty.