Maine Equal Justice provides information, resources during the COVID-19 outbreak

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 11:30am

Maine Equal Justice, an Augusta-based nonprofit, is providing information and resources to Maine people during the COVID-19 outbreak

“The COVID-19 outbreak is a difficult time for Maine and the country, and it can be especially frightening for people who are struggling to make ends meet or do not have access to health care,” the nonprofit said in a March 16 release. “As state and federal policymakers respond to this crisis, Maine Equal Justice will advocate for Maine communities and populations most at risk, including those with low income and the underserved, to ensure they are receiving the attention and services they need and deserve, and to offer a path to help if they need one.

“Our safety net is flexible in times of emergency and can help families weather difficulties. People have a right to access benefits throughout the outbreak. If you are having trouble getting assistance like SNAP, MaineCare, TANF, or General Assistance, but you think that you should qualify, please call Maine Equal Justice at 626-7058, ext 205 or leave a message.

“Maine DHHS and other state agencies are also looking at the best way to ensure access to public assistance throughout this emergency and we will continue to share updates as we learn more.

“When it comes to public health and welfare, we are all in this together. We are all only as safe as those members of our community who are most at risk. The COVID-19 outbreak shows more clearly than ever that ensuring all people living in Maine have access to health care, adequate food and nutrition, and are financially stable, makes us stronger and more resilient as a community.

“While the coronavirus does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, nationality, or socio-economic status, stigma and misinformation do. Fear and falsehoods will not keep anyone safe, and it is on all of us to push back against any fear and stigma surrounding COVID-19.

When we face emergencies, Maine people come together to protect the most vulnerable. At Maine Equal Justice, we will do our best to help you access safety net programs if you are having trouble getting the help you need. We are also advocating for policies to make it easier for people to access the safety net and health coverage during this challenging time, and working to ensure that nobody is evicted from their home.

“The Legislature will be adjourned after Tuesday March 17th but there will still be opportunity to advocate for policy changes to respond to this emergency situation, and a special session is planned. Maine people can still advocate from their homes, and we will provide information on our Facebook page about opportunities to engage and weigh in with policymakers.”