Basic & Urgent Needs

When people have the essential things they need to survive, things like consistent access to healthy food, a warm place to live, they can find the stability they need to thrive.

While we work to address the root causes of important community issues, United Way realizes there are individuals in our region who need our support right now. That’s why we work to improve housing and housing support services, food assistance programs, and personal safety services. Together, we ensure families have a stable place to call home, food to eat, and the support they need in times of crisis.

What We Are Facing

Rely on SNAP
in Southern Maine
Calls to 211 Maine
for fuel assistance in 2022
Households paying 30%+
of their income on housing

What UWSM is doing

households received emergency heating assistance through the Keep ME Warm Fund
federal funds secured to provide food and shelter to migrants living in temporary housing
$ M
211 Maine
United Way’s trusted information and referral service that provides expert, caring help to meet your needs. No matter the situation, the help navigators at 211 listen, identify underlying problems, and connect people in need with resources and services in our community that improve their lives.
Learn More
Keep ME Warm Fund
provides emergency heating assistance through a statewide partnership of Maine's United Ways and Community Action Agencies.
Learn More
Emergency Food & Shelter
United Way of Southern Maine and the Cumberland County Board for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program secured three grants totaling more than $4.6 million to support people being temporarily housed in hotels throughout Southern Maine due to the lack of housing space. United Way also provides ongoing technical assistance to organizations as they navigate the challenges of coordinating large-scale services to this population.
Learn More
Addressing Homeless
United Way of Southern Maine staffs the Cumberland County and Midcoast Service Homeless Service Hub Coordinators, which is part of MaineHousing’s statewide strategy to redesign the approach to addressing homelessness. This includes Maine’s partnership with Built for Zero, a movement to reach "functional zero" – a measurable end state where homelessness is both rare and brief.
Learn More
Previous slide
Next slide

Join the Effort

Your contribution to United Way is an investment in empowering people on their journey to economic mobility and building equitable, thriving communities.

Volunteer Leadership

UWSM’s Basic Needs work is driven by a dedicated and diverse team of volunteers that represent community voices across Southern Maine.