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Town of Freeport
GENERAL ASSISTANCE

Hours & Contact Information

Office Hours:
Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Office Telephone: 207-865-4743 ext. 120 | Fax: 207-865-0929

Mailing Address: 30 Main Street, Freeport, ME 04032

General Assistance Administrator: Johanna Hanselman | jhanselman@freeportmaine.com
OVERVIEW OF SERVICES

The Towns of Yarmouth and Freeport have established a District Office for the administration of general assistance. This office is located in Freeport's town hall. General Assistance Program assists residents of Freeport and Yarmouth with basic necessities, such as:

* rent/mortgage
* fuel
* non-elective medical services
* telephone when medically necessary
* necessary work-related expenses
* clothing
* personal supplies and food.

Please contact the Freeport town office to schedule an appointment during regular business hours (Monday - Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) at 865-4743 x120. A list of required documentation at the time of application is attached at right.

This program continues to be a safety net for the most needy. The State reimburses municipalities 50% of the expenditures for this program.

General Assistance has developed into a program that makes recipients more accountable and encourages self-reliance. A person applying for this assistance is required to utilize all available resources, i.e. TANF, food stamps, Medicaid, fuel assistance, subsidized daycare, etc. With overall maximum levels of assistance being quite low, it is critical to network with local and area resources to access all available assistance.

Additionally, financial assistance is awarded annually for help with medical and other expenses. This money is generated through various trust funds held by each town and provides financial assistance with items such as:

* hospital expenses
* prescription drugs
* physician visits and dental emergencies.

Applications for these funds are available through this office and residents are eligible based on financial need.

Assistance is also offered with completing Maine State Property Tax and Rent Refund forms. Forms for this program are available at the Town Office and the application must be completed and submitted by December 31st.


GA required info at application time.pdf>>
USEFUL LINKS

Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Integrated Access and Support - a comprehensive assistance page
.....OIAS Regional Office Info
Federal Office of Family Assistance
Maine Army National Guard Family Assistance Center

Poverty Guidelines

Food Stamp Certification Manual
Food Supplemental Program ('food stamps')

CAP Child Care Program
Catholic Charities Child Care
WIC program

DHHS Housing Assistance

Health Care Resource Directory(for those who do not qualify for assistance)
DHHS Oral Health resources
Oral Health clinics
Cancer Care Assistance
DHHS Eye Care
DHHS Vision Assistance

DHHS Mental Health Assistance
Maine Center for Disease Control
Free Pharmaceuticals program
Maine Bureau of Rehabilitation Services
Vocational Rehab
Maine Career Center

DHHS Elder Services webpage
DHHS Elder Services links

Legal Services for the Elderly
Pine Tree Legal Assistance
COUNSELING HOTLINES/SHELTERS:

Abused Women's Advocacy Project
P.O. Box 713
Auburn, ME 04212-0713
Contact: Christine Fenno 207-795-4020 Toll Free: 800-559-2927

Department of Health & Human Services
221 State Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Toll Free: 800-452-1999
TTY. 800-963-9490

Family Crisis Shelter
P.O. Box 704
Portland, ME 04104-0704
Contact: Lois Reckitt
207-874-1973 Toll Free: 800-537-6066

Family Violence Project
P.O. Box 304
Augusta, ME 04332
Contact: Carol DiAnna
207-623-3569 Toll Free: 800-498-1930

Linea Nacional Sobre la Volencia Domestica-
Bilingual counselors available 24 hours a day
Consejeros bilingfies disponibles las 24 horas Toll Free Hotline: 800-799-7233
TTY- 800-787-3224

Portland Outreach
Police Headquarters
109 Middle Street
Portland, ME 04101
207-874-8512

Family Shelter
...207-772-8339 Portland
Oxford Street Shelter for Men
...207-761-2072 Portland
Family Crisis Shelter - Domestic Violence
... 800-537-6066 Portland
MAPS Shelter Services - Pregnant/Parenting Women
...207 775 1508 Portland
Milestone - Substance Abuse
...207-775-4790 Portland
Preble Street/Florence House - General-Women
...207-699-4392 Portland
Preble Street/Lighthouse Shelter - Youth
...207-775-0026 Portland
Tedford Housing/General - Adults
...207-725-4871 Brunswick
Tedford Housing -Family
...207-729-4583 Brunswick
SOUP KITCHENS AND FOOD PANTRIES

Brunswick Area Church Council Hunger Prevention Program, Inc.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
27 Pleasant Street - P.O. Box 632
Brunswick, ME 04011 207-725-1151

Good Shepherd Food Bank
415 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240
207-782-3554

Preble Street Resource Center
252 Oxford Street, Portland, ME 04101
207-874-6560

Project Feed - Woodford's Congregational Church
202 Woodford Street, Portland, ME 04103
Contact: Barbara Craig, 207-761-3920

St. Vincent DePaul
10 Locust Street
Portland, ME 04101
207-772-1113

State Street Church
159 State Street
Portland, ME 04101
207-774-6396

Wayside Evening Soup Kitchen
252 Oxford Street
Portland, ME 04101
Contact: Tom Vacca
207-775-4939
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How can I apply for general assistance?
People wishing to apply for assistance should call the administrator to schedule an appointment Each person needs to complete an application in order to determine eligibility.


What do I need to do to qualify for general assistance?
Each applicant is responsible for providing the general assistance administrator with information necessary to determine eligibility. This includes information verifying members of the household. documentation of all sources of income received by the household (salary, child support, workers compensation benefits, unemployment, SSI, SSDI, social security, as well as any money received from family members, tax returns, etc.). Additionally, applicants need to provide documentation of their expenses for basic necessities (these include housing, heat, electricity, water, sewer, food, phone when medically necessary, prescriptions, etc.) and work related expenses (child care expenses, transportation to work). The administrator will make a determination of eligibility based on the overall maximums allowed by the State and the municipality. Clients will receive a decision sheet showing whether or not they are eligible for assistance and what they will need to do to be eligible for future assistance. If there is a household member who is available to work, the administrator will schedule a workfare assignment which may need to be completed prior to the issuance of any assistance.


What can general assistance assist with?
The town will grant assistance to eligible applicants for basic necessities according to the maximum levels for specific types of assistance. Basic necessities include housing, heat, electricity, food, utilities, personal care and household supplies, and other basic necessities when they are deemed essential to an applicant's or recipient's health and safety by the general administrator.


Can the town help me to secure housing?
The town does not own any housing of its own but usually recommends that those interested in affordable housing contact the Freeport Housing Trust (865-1652), Coastal Management (797-3688) as well as checking the local papers.


What is workfare?
Each applicant and any member of the household who is capable of working may be required to perform work for the municipality, including work for a non-profit organization, as a condition of receiving assistance. As part of the municipal work program, the municipality can require recipients to participate in training, education, or rehabilitative programs that will assist the recipient in securing employment.


What do I need to do to be eligible for future assistance?
At the time an applicant receives a decision on their application, the administrator will inform them of their responsibilities for being eligible in the future. Once applying for general assistance all clients, regardless of whether or not they received any benefits, are responsible for showing that they have done all they can to prevent needing general assistance again. This includes providing documentation (receipts) of all their spending over the past thirty days (or longer if they are seeking assistance with back due bills). Again, the amount of income from all sources received by the household must be provided. Additionally, the applicant must show that they have utilized all potential resources the administrator referred them to.


What would cause me to be ineligible or disqualified from the program?
General assistance is a program that encourages clients to do all they can to prevent needing future assistance. An applicant may be found ineligible to receive general assistance if they: misspend their money on items that are not considered basic necessities (this will count as money that is still available to the household and will affect the amount of eligibility); if a client forfeits a benefit, this benefit will not be replaced; if a client quits a job without just cause, they are disqualified from receiving assistance for a 120 day period.; for failing to perform or complete a workfare assignment; for willfully making a false representation about their eligibility; for not providing or permitting the administrator to gather the necessary verification and documentation as required; as well as others.


How often can I apply for assistance?
Generally, general assistance is determined for a one month period only. If an applicant needs to apply for general assistance again, they are responsible for making sure they have met the requirements of the program for eligibility.


What if I disagree with the decision of the administrator?
If you disagree with the decision, applicants should discuss the matter with the administrator. All applicants have the right to request a Fair Hearing which would provide the applicant with a Board composed of individuals not involved in the decision to decide whether you are eligible for assistance. If you would like a Fair Hearing, you must request a hearing in writing within 5 working days of when you receive your decision.