June 29, 2018
AUGUSTA, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) met with local community leaders and delivered remarks at the Kennebec Valley YMCA Donor Appreciation event in Augusta.
“The YMCA is, in many ways, the center of the region it serves – if not geographically, then culturally,” said Senator King. “No matter who you are – your age, your interests, your background – the Y has something to offer, ranging from child care, summer camps and recreational activities to resources that can help people live healthier lives. Most importantly, it is a place where people across Maine can find community and friendship. That is what the men and women of the Kennebec Valley YMCA provide for the area – it means so much, and it was my honor to join them this evening.”
Earlier this year, Senator King was named a “YMCA Congressional Champion” for his leadership in co-sponsoring the Promoting Affordable Childcare for Everyone (PACE) Act, which would enact several changes to make both tax policies immediately more generous and modify them to reflect the changing economic landscape by requiring annual inflation adjustments that will provide families with greater spending power when seeking care for their children. The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
Prior to the event, Senator King visited the Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope in Augusta, which serves as transitional housing for homeless female veterans and their children. The organization aims to help residents access services and find educational and employment opportunities that can help them achieve independence. During his time in the Senate, Senator King has worked to curb homelessness in Maine, and has focused on providing support for homeless veterans and justice-involved veterans. He helped secure three new VA positions in Maine to better serve the needs of justice-involved veterans confronting homelessness, mental health, or substance use issues. In December 2017, he wrote to then-VA Secretary David Shulkin urging him to protect homeless veterans and ensure veteran homeless programs are fully funded. His letter followed reports that the VA planned to reallocate funding from the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) veteran housing voucher program to the VA’s General Purpose fund. In the past, he has cosponsored the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act to curb youth homelessness in Maine and across the country. The legislation would reauthorize several important federal initiatives that support America’s homeless young people, including a grant program that help states and local communities as they work to address the needs of runaway and homeless youth. The bill also includes new language to target human trafficking and prohibit these federal programs from discriminating against a child based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Senator King has also met with people at numerous homeless shelters throughout the state, like Preble Street in Portland, New Beginnings in Lewiston and The Gathering Place in Brunswick.
Earlier today, Senator King toured organizations dedicated to serving vulnerable populations in the Kennebec Valley.