“Katie” (not her real name) is smart, artsy, energetic, very kind and the sort of cook whose meals you want to sit down to. Katie is a caregiver who helps keep the elderly in their homes. Katie is homeless.

She is staying with a friend while she searches. Her possessions are in storage.

She tells of landlords who don’t reply to her online applications, as well as landlords who want more rent for a tiny apartment than my family pays for our mortgage, heat not included. She tells of landlords who want an extra $80 a month (!) for her small dog.

Winter is coming, and I see her growing angst. I reflect on how ironic it is that she helps keep others in their homes, but cannot find one for herself.

I observe how there always seems to be enough room for another trendy hotel, another well-appointed house, while the need for affordable housing grows. I observe formerly middle-class neighborhoods being taken over by half-million-dollar condos.

Never mind that those who have more are never short on options. Never mind that hardworking people are hurting and afraid.

The Maine I see today is not the Maine I used to know.

Zoe Goody

Cape Elizabeth