550 Forest Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, ME 04101 info@uwsme.org 207-874-1000

Financial Stability

GOAL Two: Empower more of our neighbors to thrive, not just survive.

We are focused on strategies that support education, employment opportunities, and resources to achieve financial stability. Under Goal 2, we work for more opportunities for people to attain a high school credential, complete post-secondary degree or training to meet career needs, increase income and assets, and reduce expenses.

Target: 70% of households pay less than 30% of their income on housing.
Baseline: 65% of households pay less than 30% of their income on housing.

53% of renters pay more than the recommended 30% of income on their housing costs, making it difficult for them to afford other essentials such as food and healthcare.


Nabil was feeling hopeless. He lost his job, and was struggling to get back on his feet. Not only did he lack the education and credentials needed to find fulfilling and meaningful work, he struggled to navigate the job search process, including how to best fill out applications. Nabil felt anxious and alone with no prospects for his future until a family friend introduced him to Goodwill’s Job Connection Program.

Through this program Nabil took an assessment that helped him find work that suited his temperament, skills, and interests. He worked to strengthen his interviewing skills and worked on relaxation and breathing to help him stay calm. Beyond preparing for his job search, he worked on budgeting and even explored ways to put his skills as a photographer to work.

After applying his new skills, Nabil was hired at a local manufacturing company. His hard work has paid off. He has received two promotions and is on his way to becoming a supervisor.

Do you know what your United Way donation looks like? It looks like hope. It looks like neighbors thriving – not just surviving.

Goodwill’s Job Connection Program, funded by United Way of Southern Maine, works to advance Thrive2027 Goal 2 (Empower our neighbors to thrive – not just survive) by ensuring that individuals have opportunities to identify and secure meaningful employment and have the necessary supports to be financially stable.



Julie Chase (Co-Chair)
Dean of Business & Community Partnerships
Southern Maine Community College

Jill Duson (Co-Chair)
Maine Human Rights Commission

Orion Breen
Public Affairs Liaison
Global Partners

Anne Dalton
Special Advisor to the CEO, Historian
Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.

Ashley Duca
Project & Program Manager
Texas Instruments

Jim Elkins
Career Planning Services

Peter Fitch
Human Resources Director
Lee Auto

Donald Lary
VP Stop Loss Operations

Samuel Ledue
KCV Trailer and Container Rentals

Karen MacDonald
Chief Operating Officer
Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine

Georges Budagu Makoko
Residential Director, Serenity Residential Care
Founder, Ladder to the Moon Network

Colin March
Senior Relationship Manager
TD Bank

Judith Metcalf
Associate Program Director, Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program
University of New England

Claudette Ndayininahaze
Executive Director, In Her Presence
Senior Consultant, Integrative Inquiry LLC

Cullen Ryan
Executive Director
Community Housing of Maine

Jennifer Sporzynski
Senior Program Director
CEI Business Development Services

Julia Trujillo-Luengo
Director, Office of Economic Opportunity
City of Portland

David Wurm
Senior Director, Workforce Services
Goodwill Northern New England

See full list of Thrive2027 cabinet members here.