My regular job is to help people trade up, downsize and to get pre approved to buy a Maine home.
Or something tied to the waterfront. Maybe surrounded by a boatload of acres of land to protect their quality of life.
People do buy a house for the home that provides the lifestyle they want.
Or have worked their way up to with blood, sweat and tears. But what about the kids?
The ones that don’t have a home, or it is a foster one. Don’t just raise themselves. Where connect the murky dots of shelter after shelter to somehow get them to eighteen.
And then to expect flaps up, fly straight and true. But attended a Maine Affordable Housing Conference yesterday in Bangor at the new Cross Center.
The one with Paul Bunyan standing guard with an peavey, sporting a warm red flannel shirt and flashing a big wide grin.
The tag line for this conference “Today’s Vision, Tomorrow’s Reality” from the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition.
Listened to an opening speaker named Jimmy Wayne, a country singer / songwriter and advocate for foster children.
The ones who face constant homelessness. Give a listen, check out his chords on a song.
It made me think about those of us wanting a bigger, better home with more bells and whistles. Where just having somewhere dry, warm and safe would make a homeless kid feel like they are on a private exotic island. With three meals included in the package with the clean sheets at lights out. Don’t forget to say your prayers. And now you do have blessings to count you can see, feel, taste.
Jimmy’s mission is to raise the foster age kid support from eighteen to twenty one. Not to cut off the benefits. Now hold on.
If you are thinking that is too much help, time in a “bubble” or stuck in the system. Hold on now hombres.
He quoted statistics that half the woman in foster care are pregnant within two years and here we go, here come more kids.
Also reminding all of us at the Cross Center plenary area that no kids grows up alone. Kids need you. They can not do it without you.
Wayne citing all the folks along the way that like a pin ball machine, were the navigation nudge in the right direction.
When his compass was missing the needle.
When figuring out what happened in their own troubled childhood, healing from the wrinkles of that crazy train has not been completely dealt with enough. To make sure these foster kids, the majority of them become productive, successful community driven citizens of tomorrow.
Other stats like within the same period of time after the funding gets snipped, the gentlemen in that group are behind bars. In the crowbar hotel and incarcerated.
But with care to get them to the next level and feet planted solidly on the ground the statistics could be way way different.
Lots of other topics at the Maine Affordable Housing Conference were offered up for the break out sessions too.
About housing for our most vulnerable neighbors. Those spending more than 180 days in a shelter. Changing demographics, looking at the future with the seniors.
To protect them from head injuries, broken bones because falls are the biggest worry. When the hair if you have any goes gray or that strange shade of blue tint.
How to make sure the environment in your Maine home is safe and not toxic. And know about those silent killers or cancer causers or just drafts. That make the housing not so affordable, not so healthy.
I liked the economic development and re-use of existing property inventory in places like Biddeford Maine when the mill dinosaur went to its knees.
And downtown Bangor Maine examples of rehabs, development to meet the housing needs of various segments of the local population.
We are all partners for success for affordable housing. In my area of Northern Maine, housing stocks is low cost, but aging.
And the jobs to go with the need a house part of the equation are always up for discussion.
To make sure the best bang for the buck for municipal and educational services is achieved.
Or where to cut when only so much money to stretch. Because you can not just keep raising property taxes in a small Maine town or plantation.
Spending like drunken sailors the same old way. Which is time and resources wasted. Like putting a lot of wasted effort into the re-arranging of chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
The trick in small Maine towns is to make them perform like they are way way above their weight class.
To have sustainable housing. A high test grade of rural quality of living that Maine is rich in if the dials are monitored. Holding your mouth just right, the tongue tip exposed. The steady she goes adjusted just so.
And more objectives to meet in rural Maine than just keeping housing affordable across the board.
For all segments of the population you need to preserve and protect the vital existing jobs.
Making sure those with retirement checks that follow them wherever they go come to Maine for the Golden Years.
Go into schools to make sure the curriculum matches the outside work world environment.
And to expand on exciting telecommuting to Maine, bringing the new resident’s job with them.
If the broadband is hearty enough to flex, work the Internet muscle better than some other state’s. The up and down speeds are critical to the cyber highway connection. Much needed to stay a thriving, vibrant small Maine communities. Can not do it the old fashion way and just keep it status quo.
To keep thing bright and glowing. Twinkling and no one hollering “last one out pull the chain, turn off the town lights”.
My brother Stephen B Mooers’ Memorial Award was presented too. For the work done by the quality people surrounding him at Penquis Community Action Program. Where he worked for many decades in the affordable housing arena.
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MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton ME 04730