In recent decades, Maine has come to be a haven for individuals fleeing conflict and violence in their household nations. The natural way, it would be great if there only have been no wars or famines and no a person at any time in these kinds of a predicament. Having said that, everyday living is generally hard and so I assume it is superb that we are offering a safe welcome.
From a humanitarian standpoint, it feels appropriate to support in approaches we are equipped. It appears the ethical way to be.
From a egocentric standpoint, our individual life are created immeasurably richer by the addition of new traditions, food items and languages inside of our local community. We grow to be far better.
At the similar time, it have to also be acknowledged that there are some worries as well. They never outweigh the positives, but if we don’t imagine about them, we simply cannot find a resolution.
The most clear challenge? Housing.
Any individual who has long gone condominium searching – or heaven assistance you, dwelling searching – understands that the market in Maine is bonkers appropriate now. Rents are high and stories of customers earning “cash presents above asking” abound.
Into this insane condition, we are placing new people who have to have housing with access to transportation, infrastructure and a range of local community supports – the exact same points everybody else is wanting for in a community, also. Metropolitan areas are the apparent option, but the towns are entire and emotion the pressure. Portland in certain is sensation stretched too thin.
Nevertheless, our towns might not need to have to be the go-to.
Many thanks to our new lifestyle of distant functioning, career opportunities are expanded geographically. Our rural communities have the area, the have to have (and often even unoccupied housing) but not the important infrastructure.
Which would make me wonder …
What would come about if the state were being to launch a series of “community-dwelling projects”? Image, if you will, a series of modest, straightforward-to-warmth, low-upkeep residences crafted all around a central courtyard with shared communal spaces. One thing akin to Two Echo Cohousing in Brunswick, Ecovillage in Belfast or Island Cohousing on Martha’s Winery, but extra so.
A certain quantity of the properties would be reserved for new Mainers in search of asylum. The other properties for longtime Mainers who, in exchange for a realistic buy cost and lower mortgage, would just take on the position of “professional neighbors,” encouraging the new residents navigate the day-to-working day facts of their new life: getting the grocery shop, registering the children for university, connecting them with services to make positive they have the matters we all need this sort of as transportation, garments and the like. They would welcome them with potluck foods and see to it that they are secure.
Once the new Mainers have a sense of their new lives, maybe just after a calendar year or two, they will be assisted to discover lasting housing and those residences produced all set for one more family just arriving.
The family members who sought asylum could perfectly opt for to remain in the spot they’ve appear to know, generating that neighborhood richer and additional vibrant. The condition would be capable to keep on supplying protected haven with no placing strain on our towns, and longtime Mainers would offer a route to house possession while forging new friendships and neighborhood ties.
I am not a community planner. I am selected there are road blocks I have not nevertheless assumed of, but wouldn’t it be incredible if we used this moment of disaster/option to assume big and create some really innovative methods for us all? That is a community I want to be portion of.