Preble Street Resource Center – Emergency Food Program Staff
Year Founded: 1975
JVC partner for: 23 years
Population Served: Homeless and low-income individuals from all backgrounds
Organization Description: Preble Street provides accessible, barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty, and also advocates for solutions to those problems. Preble Street was founded as a neighborhood center for homeless people and has operated a day shelter since 1981, providing basic services, advocacy, and linkage to community resources for healthcare, mental health treatment, and employment. In 2005, Preble Street opened the first low-barrier permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless adults in Maine. In 2009, Preble Street established the Maine Hunger Initiative, which develops a action plan to promote best practices in food pantry work and advocate for systemic change.
JV’s Role: The JV at Preble Street helps to manage three kitchens at three different sites, which provide 9 meals a day to 40-60 teens, 40-60 women, and 400-600 adults and families. Combined with the food pantry, the JV helps to serve 570,000 meals to clients who struggle with complex challenges such as poor health, mental illness, substance abuse, and language barriers. The JV also manages the groups of volunteers that come daily to help with meal distribution.
How JVs Make an Impact: “JVs have a history of leadership in our food programs, both providing an urgent direct service to the most vulnerable people in our communities and also acting as a bridge between the people we serve and the broader community on whom we depend for support. We also depend on them for the enthusiasm, values, thoughtfulness, resourcefulness, and diligence they bring to work with disadvantaged people and their sense of hope and commitment to social justice.”