In downtown Lewiston and Auburn, children are not living the American dream. In this diverse community there is poverty, violence, drugs, abuse and exposure to domestic violence. Hope & Grace seeks to be a voice for these kids by advocating for solutions that impact the the cycle of violence. We are working with local social services agencies, law enforcement, NGO's, churches, educators and healthcare providers to bring hope and healing to these children. Every child has a story, and we're fighting for all of them.
Whether near or far, we have a big challenge in the world today. Kids are at risk for being abused, neglected and exploited. There is a cycle of victimization that occurs when children threatened early in life. We have a broad base of challenges to address with vulnerable children. We have determined that we need to be focused and direct. This means that we strategize to address identifiable problems and emerging threats to children.
The loss of hope can often be the result of many factors. Our own community is at risk and our youth are vulnerable. We work to define the most critical scenarios and address issues facing those children directly. In our community, we have concerns for children who are at risk for ”Exploitation of Vulnerabilities”. These are the issues we see leading to vulnerable status:
- There are approximately 400 run away and throw away kids in our community.
- We are widely diverse community with new Mainers in the Immigrants and Refugees population
- We represent two of the poorest regions in our state with significant impact from the economic downturn.
- We witness parenting voids within these communities leading to vulnerable children.
- We see the negative impact of technology in the influence of pornography, cyber-bullying and privacy issues in school age children with state issued laptops.
- We see increasing evidence of gender inequality, sexual violence and gang development