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Cumberland County Maine Social Services assistance program.

There are a few core services offered directly by Cumberland County Maine Social Services Department or that are generally available in the form of referrals. While the resources are limited, first and foremost they will be trying to assist those families that are facing a short term crisis, but that are otherwise well on their way to self-sufficiency.

The organization is also known as Health and Human Services. They operate under the concept of the state helping the working poor and people in poverty. Even if the staff from the Social Service Department in Portland and Cumberland County can’t meet the client’s request, then they may offer linkage to other agencies in the region that can help.

Most of the resources are available from the resource center in Portland Maine. This location includes everything from a thrift store to food pantry. There is information on LIHEAP for paying energy bills, SNAP food stamps, section 8 housing, and more. This is where a combination of staff and government workers are based from. From the center, qualified residents can receive information or applications to a number of benefit programs.

There are referrals to low cost stores in Portland Maine. The thrift store has a diverse collection of items for sale to the general public. It is open to anyone in the community, whether the client is low income or well off. Families can purchase a wide assortment of goods at the store, but what is for sale will depend heavily on donations. Since Cumberland County Maine Social Services does rely on donations from the public, what is available for sale changes monthly, if not even daily. It will even depend on the season, such as whether cold weather attire is for sale or not.

The location that is run by the charity helps hundreds of families each year obtain the clothing or other households goods, such as furniture or appliances, they need. While not as common, there may be cases in which Cumberland County Social Services will issue vouchers so that people can receive free clothing from the Thrift Store. This is mostly for people from Cumberland County that have been impacted by a disaster, such as fire, or that meet a limited number of other conditions.




Another thing that people should note is when they shop at the Thrift Store, they are in fact giving back to the community. When someone buys a shirt or any item, the money that changes hands will then be used by Cumberland County Maine Social Services to fund the financial assistance programs they run. So the store allows people to make a difference in their local community.

Based on money raised from donations, funding from the federal government or state resources, there may be financial assistance available as well. Another source of funding for Cumberland County Maine Social Services Department will be government grants. While this is available, any funds are very limited. Some uses of the money from the charity may be as follows.

  • Housing costs – A focus is on homeless prevention. So to this end, Cumberland County Maine Social Services may assist with partial rent, mortgage, or utility bills.
  • Food – Gift cards for groceries, or the use of local Portland pantries may be arranged. Applications to SNAP food stamps are given too.
  • Support for job seekers – Whether it is clothing or a gasoline voucher, support may be available.
  • Health Care and Medicaid - The Social Services Department in Cumberland County will help low income families as well as the disabled apply for Medicaid, or seniors can enroll into Medicare.
  • Energy costs - Health and Human Services in Portland is a place to apply for grants for paying heating, energy, and gas bills, including from LIHEAP.
  • The office is also a place for information on many other government benefits, both at the state of Maine as well as federal level.

As noted, money is limited. So instead, the charity can direct applicants to a multitude of other programs. This can range from no-interest loans to cash assistance from the state. Social Services Department in Cumberland County Maine is a source of information on these resources. However, these other options are also very limited, and most residents will not be able to qualify.

Family Development is a tool used to prevent homelessness and break the cycle of poverty. The entire family can in fact enroll. The agency will support people on their journey to self-sufficiency, and they have a number of resources available to them to make this happen. Of particular focus is on ensuring children in Cumberland County are well cared for. They also support the under or unemployed in Portland Maine.

Cumberland County Maine Social Services Department staff will perform an assessment. Based on the results, the next step of the process will involve a case management process. The staff members from the government run social service department will advocate for the client, and help them both develop and meet career goals.

Cumberland County Maine Social Services Department Christmas and holiday programs range from Adopt-A-Family to free meals or boxes of food. Agencies across Portland work to ensure that lower income parents with children as well as seniors have some form of Christmas joy. This also relies on donations.





The program can even extend to other holidays, such as Thanksgiving. Qualified applicants will be given a free large dinner, gifts for children, and maybe items for each family member. There may also be shoes, coats and more. The sign up period will be very early, and any holiday programs are first come and served as well.

Phone number for Social Services in Portland and Cumberland County

For more details or referrals to Health and Human as well as Social Services department in Cumberland County, call 775-7911 for information.


By Jon McNamara

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