Many of us have heard of the impending housing crisis here in Portland and across the state. Emergency Rental Assistance, a federal relief program, is ending this month and next month for many individuals and families with children. Portland shelters are already overflowing, and interfaith communities and individuals are trying to respond to our neighbors in need, many of whom are immigrants and asylum seekers.

How might we help? Here are some ways.

Neighbors Need ME is a group organized by various faith leaders, and you can learn more about their efforts by going to their website here, and liking their Facebook page here.

You will find there an invitation to gather at the State House on Wednesday morning, December 14th, to bear witness to the need for assistance to address this crisis.  You can also listen to an invitation from our bishop and Rev. Peter Swarr of Trinity Church regarding this witness here.

Locally, Greater Portland Family Promise is organizing efforts to provide emergency overnight shelters for families as a short term solution. Currently, the Woodfords Congregational Church will be housing people overnight. The shelter will rotate to different churches in the area. If you are interested in being a volunteer to spend time at the overnight shelter, you can sign uphere. 

Trinity Episcopal Church here in Portland is making an effort to provide housing for one particular family who is facing eviction, and welcomes contributions. If you wish to make a financial contribution for their rent, you can make a check out to Trinity Episcopal Church, and put “Discretionary Fund” in the memo line.

Checks can be mailed to Trinity at: 580 Forest Ave. Portland, ME 04010

We cannot save the world. But we can, in this season of Advent, hear Christ’s call to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to participate in what God is doing to restore the world to peac