Homeless Children & Youth Awareness Month

November 2023 Events

November 11 – 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion for National Homeless Children and Youth Awareness Month.

A multiplatform panel discussion about the issue of homeless children and youth in the midcoast, especially Waldo County.

See the panel discussion Videos HERE.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast
39 Miller Street
Belfast, Maine
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4695376814

November 13 – 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Empty Bowl Supper

All proceeds are to benefit programs for Mount View students.

Mount View High School
577 Mount View Road
Thorndike, Maine

November 14 – 17
Dine to Donate. SEE DETAILS BELOW.

November 17 – 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Come support the winners of the contest offered to all Waldo County high school students by But Still I am One to bring awareness to the issue of homelessness.

The students could submit an essay, poem, or piece of art with the prompt of either “How they would feel if they didn’t have a home?” or “What supports would there need to be in place in a community to end homelessness?” There will be three winners. First prize is $300. Second prize is $200. Third prize is $100.

All essays, poems, and pieces of art entered will be on display at the library for the month of November.

Belfast Free Library
106 High Street
Belfast, Maine
Link to Zoom meeting

November 18 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Families with school-aged children are invited for arts and storytelling for the young people to explore "what makes home, home" and participate in arts and crafts, and dramatization of a story. Child-friendly lunch will be provided, with gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options. This is sponsored by Family Promise of MidCoast Maine.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast
37 Miller Street
Belfast, Maine

Support these fine local restaurants who are generously donating a portion of their proceeds on these dates:

November 14 – Angler’s Restaurant
4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
215 E. Main St.
Searsport, Maine

November 15 – Darby’s
11:30 a.m. to closing
155 High St.
Belfast, Maine

November 16 – Hey Sailor!
4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
25 E. Main St.
Searsport, Maine

November 17 – Nautilus
11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
3 Main St.
Belfast, Maine

Volunteers will be available at each of these locations to share information with interested patrons.
Donations will be shared equally between these three local non-profits:
But Still I Am One
Family Promise of MidCoast Maine
Maine Statewide Youth Action Board

But Still I Am One
PO Box 557, Belfast, ME 04915
But Still I Am One is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our mission is to provide services to people who are between the ages of 16 to 21 and are unhoused or home-insecure in Waldo County, Maine. This can involve providing prepaid Visa cards so that young adults can purchase what they need. If they are 16 or 17, we help pay for a driving school which can cost up to $600. We provide advocacy and assistance with supportive case management, and effective response to other requests that might come up. We also provide funds to the Waldo County high schools to help with their programs for their unhoused and home-insecure students. Our vision is to one day be able to provide a safe haven for our clients - a place that they can call their home!

Family Promise of MidCoast Maine
P.O. Box 452
37 Miller Street
Belfast, ME 04915
We are a local affiliate of the national Family Promise organization (familypromise.org), the largest provider of services for families at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Our local affiliate serves MidCoast families, with a focus on Waldo County. We work with the faith community, helping local congregations find ways to respond to family homelessness and supporting congregations that provide temporary overnight housing for small groups of families a few times a year. We partner with local non-profits to provide case management, counseling, and housing liaison services.

Maine Statewide Youth Action Board
New Beginnings, Inc.
Administrative Offices
134 College Street
Lewiston, Maine 04240
The Maine Statewide Youth Action Board is a forum for young people ages 14-24 to discuss issues, resources, etc., affecting their peers with shared , lived experiences including homelessness, poverty, interaction with foster or adoptive systems, interaction with the Department of Corrections or Juvenile Justice, and/or interaction with mental health and treatment systems, who strive to influence positive, systemic change while highlighting the value of respect and diversity amongst its membership.

Homeless Children & Youth Awareness Month

The Why Behind the Events

Each year, an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness, of which 700,000 are unaccompanied minors, meaning they are not part of a family or accompanied by a parent or guardian. On any given night, approximately 41,000 unaccompanied youth ages 13-25 experience homelessness.
--National Conference of State Legislatures

During the School Year 2020-21, public schools identified 1,099,221 students who experienced homelessness.
--Children’s Defense Fund, 2023

Homelessness is not just a national problem. It is a real problem here in MidCoast Maine. Homelessness affects all of us, directly or indirectly.

The shortage of affordable housing here in the MidCoast has squeezed out many families who now experience homelessness. They are our friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers. Their children attend our schools.

Many families and youth double up with family or friends, couch surf, stay in motels not set up for families, or settle for substandard lodgings, often without utilities. Although domestic violence shelters serve some in need, there are currently no family or youth shelters in Waldo County.

The state Homeless Response Services Hub
(Region 3: Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, Sagadahoc Counties plus Bath and Brunswick) has identified 113 MidCoast families with children staying in motels or shelters, in addition to 60 unaccompanied, unhoused youth.

This year as of September, Belfast General Assistance has provided housing assistance to 219 people, which included 42 men, 114 women, and 63 children.

These statistics do not include families and youth who have not applied for assistance or have not been able to find housing or shelter. They remain uncounted.