Mid Coast New Mainers Group came about after a presentation by The Compassionate Housing Initiative of Yarmouth at the UU Church Brunswick in 2017. A group of women from three Yarmouth churches had come together to provide emergency housing to New Mainers (newly arrived asylum seekers) who could not get into the Portland family shelter.
Initially, a faith-based group of six area congregations met to see if a similar project was feasible in Mid Coast Maine. We decided that we were too far from vital services to help the newly arrived. However, the need for safe affordable housing became apparent. We began to organize around the idea of helping find housing and funding the security deposit for those New Mainers willing to relocate to this area. At that point, we connected with the Phippsburg UCC Church which had already begun to relocate New Mainers to the Bath/Brunswick area.
In December 2017, we were finally able to move our first family to Bath. In that first year, we learned a lot about the needs of New Mainer families and our local resources. Many people from our communities joined in to help provide furniture, transportation, and other support, reaffirming the notion that it takes a village!
Throughout it all, we have continued to base our work on our shared values of providing support to those who have fled desperate conditions at home and have come here to build a new life.