Hope Acts is excited to announce support from MaineHousing, the Maine Department of Labor, and the Portland Public Library to continue providing crucial programs for asylum-seekers.
The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) will partner with Hope Acts to continue and expand its work permit clinic over the next two years. Hope Acts will receive $276,000 in funding over two years to support the clinic operations, including new staffing, interpreter resources, and needed supplies.
Additionally, staff from the Portland CareerCenter will provide on-site career counseling services at the clinic, to help facilitate connections to jobs and training opportunities. Already in 2023, the work permit clinic has helped process over 288 applications. In 2022, Hope Acts processed over 700. Through this partnership, the clinic intends to support 1,000 work authorization applications over the next two years.
“With the large numbers of asylum seekers coming to Hope Acts for help, the funding and the offer of space at the library came at a critical time,” Hope Acts Executive Director Martha Stein said. “The library staff has really gone above and beyond to help us and to welcome our clients.”
MaineHousing will address barriers to housing by providing $100,000 in funds over two years to Hope Acts to continue its highly successful Asylum Application Assistance Program at the Portland Public Library. So far this year alone, Hope Acts has helped submit over 140 asylum applications.
“All of our work at Hope Acts is focused on assisting new asylum seekers as they move to independence, so these investments by the state come at a critical time because more and more people need help,” Stein said.
About Hope Acts
Founded in 2012, Hope Acts is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization provides housing, which provides English classes and other resources that support immigrants in transitioning to life in Greater Portland and in achieving their goals for a successful future. Hope Acts envisions a community where immigrants are welcomed and empowered socially, emotionally, physically, economically and spiritually.