We mobilize our community to improve the lives of people in Southern Maine.
From Kittery to Freeport, from Sanford to Bridgton, Southern Maine is a great place to live and work for many, but we don’t need to look far to see many are not doing well. From food insecurity to lack of affordable housing, from children from the shortage of affordable child care to historically disadvantaged communities falling behind in school, from mental health challenges to addiction crises, the community problems are all around us. But thankfully, so are the solutions.
United Way brings together the people, ideas, and resources to respond to emerging needs and tackle the root causes of issues holding people back so more children have a strong start and succeed in life, adults are empowered to pursue careers with livable wages, and individuals have access to the mental health services and substance use treatment they need to thrive.
Eighty percent of all brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life. What happens in these early years has a lasting impact from kindergarten readiness to third-grade reading scores to high school graduation and beyond. That’s why we ensure children get a strong start in life and are ready to succeed in school and life.
Financial Stability is the first stop on the journey to economic mobility. When people earn enough income to pay for basic needs like healthy food, housing, and heat, they can find the stability they need to build savings and gain assets, which benefits our whole community. That’s why we mobilize the people, ideas, and resources to ensure more people have the education and employment opportunities and resources to protect themselves against a crisis, while gaining long-term assets.
Prevention and early intervention strategies can reduce the impact of substance use and mental disorders across Southern Maine communities. That’s why we advocate for and invest in strategies that ensure people have access to the treatment, resources, and services that help them begin and stay on their recovery journey so that more people will live longer – better.
We educate government decision-makers and work with our community partners to pass and effectively implement policy and funding to support immediate needs and systemic change that build a community where children have a strong start and succeed in life, adults are empowered to pursue careers with family-sustaining wages, and individuals have access to the mental health services and substance use treatment they need to thrive. our advocacy work is centered
When people lack access to the essentials—food, heating, broadband—they cannot thrive. We rally our community to raise funds, collect items, or volunteer to address critical needs as they arise. We also support 211 Maine, which has fielded over 1 million calls from Mainers seeking help and connections to accessing resources.