Growing up in the Portland area has been a blessing. As a current senior at Falmouth High School born in Portland, I have observed that the city has changed, as I have. In escaping the dreamland of childhood, I noticed that not everyone lives with the things I and many others take for granted. One of my closest friends is currently homeless at 19, left to fend for themselves since their dad left and their mom’s apartment is too small to house them.

The homelessness epidemic has worsened with time as a result of the failure to give proper rent relief to people in need. More people are forced to live outside, forced to ask for help on busy streets. Low-income households are struggling more to make rent. Right now the state Legislature is working to find ways to help the people who need it most to find and keep housing. Legislators, I encourage you to support assistance for renters who struggle to pay the bills every month, to pass protections for renters who face discrimination, and to make policies ensuring that when people rent a home, they’re not going to have their rent suddenly increased without warning, or have to pay predatory fees.

This will strengthen communities all over Maine and improve the quality of life for fellow Mainers.

Layla Wissink

Comments are not available on this story.