Our Work to Improve Income

Over the past twenty years, the cost of living in the United States has increased by almost 90 percent, while average incomes have only increased by 25 percent. In addition, more than 40 million Americans work in jobs that pay low wages and do not provide basic health and retirement benefits.

Research has uncovered three underlying elements that must be present for individuals and families to achieve financial stability: stable, adequate income; housing; and adequate financial resources like savings to cover unexpected expenses.

Individuals who have fewer financial stresses are healthier, perform better at work, and have better educational outcomes. Increasing the financial stability of families ultimately creates a stronger, more productive workforce, and communities are more prosperous because of increased employment and homeownership.

The Maine Facts

  • In Portland, a single parent supporting one child and earning minimum wage would need to work 108 hours per week to meet a basic needs budget.
  • 34% of Maine workers are employed in industries that pay at or slightly above minimum wage, or $7.50 per hour.
  • 7,954 children in Cumberland County (13.7%) live in poverty.
  • In 2011, Maine was ranked as the 7thmost food insecure state in the nation and the most food insecure state in New England. Click here to view the Campaign to Promote Food Security in Cumberland County’s 2010 report.

Our Strategies

How You Can Help

Volunteers make our tax assistance and financial education programs possible. We need your help, even if you don’t have an accounting background. Volunteer to help.