MIRC Services

MIRC Emergency Response Services


Immigrants arriving in our state face a number of challenges, from housing and healthcare to transportation and legal services. As part of our mission to create better legal, social, and economic outcomes for immigrants in the state of Maine, our network of 103 organizations proudly provides a number of services to assist with integration and inclusion. 

Much of MIRC’s Resettlement programming support includes responding to emergent and timely issues. We react swiftly to the issues and needs on the ground as reported by our member organizations, our partner organizations, community social service providers, schools, and healthcare partners. MIRC takes an active role in responding to these changing needs by convening our coalition members to proactively coordinate, collaborate, and enhance services to immigrants. This is the fastest-growing arm of immigrant programming among our members, with new initiatives emerging each year.

A select number of services, in order of priority needs, are highlighted below.


Connecting immigrants, asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors to stable housing and emergency shelter is one of our members’ top priorities. MIRC has worked extensively with GPCOG to inform the planning and proposal for a large-scale transitional housing project in collaboration with Unity College which is currently under consideration by MaineHousing. MIRC has partnered with Maine Equal Justice in joint advocacy efforts and provided testimony for equitable housing policy in the Maine legislature. MIRC is a regular participant in Westbrook Community Housing Coalition meetings and has presented on panel discussions organized by WCHC to discuss housing-related challenges faced by newly arrived immigrants in Maine. MIRC continues to provide support to municipalities in the early stages of welcoming newly resettled immigrants in need of guidance around best practices and culturally informed services.  MIRC is currently operating an emergency shelter funded by MaineHousing for homeless immigrant families with community partners at Salvation Army and YMCA in Portland and provides housing navigation and placement case management to resident families to help them build towards long-term security and self-sufficiency.

Key Partners: Hope Acts, Avesta Housing, City of Portland, City of South Portland, Furniture Friends, Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, MaineHousing, Preble Street, Yetu, Immigrant Housing Coalition, YMCA, Salvation Army, Prosperity Maine, Quality Housing Coalition,  Ethnic Community Based Organizations, In Her Presence, Westbrook Community Housing Coalition

Culturally Appropriate Food Programming


Food insecurity is a clear and present threat to immigrants in our state, especially newly arrived individuals and families who are under-resourced and may be prohibited from working.  MIRC collaborates with The Root Cellar to provide a daily hot, culturally appropriate meal prepared by Congolese and Angolan chefs to those in need. The program has evolved considerably in the last 18 months, and we now run a second kitchen in Saco. MIRC has also partnered with Biddeford Community Gardens volunteers, who installed container gardens to improve the food quality at the Saco Comfort Inn. 

Key Partners: Amistad, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Ethnic Community-Based Organizations, Preble Street, Tyson Foods, Wayside Food Programs, the Root Cellar, Catholic Charities, Biddeford Community Gardens, United Way.

Immigration Services 


In addition to finding shelter, food, and healthcare, new arrivals in Maine must undergo an extensive immigration process fraught with confusion and difficulty. MIRC coordinates community legal service workshops on the asylum process with the help of Maine Law and the Legal Advocacy Project and connects asylum seekers with various municipal General Assistance offices. We work closely with all four of Maine’s Congressional Offices on referrals for casework assistance. We support a new project with Hope Acts that allows asylum seekers to book appointments at a local library to print immigration documents and receive technical assistance. 

Key Partners: Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, MaineLaw, Maine’s Congressional Offices,  Hope Acts, Hopeful Links, City of Portland-Office of Economic Opportunity.



Reliable transportation is key to creating better economic and social outcomes for immigrants. MIRC works with regional transportation providers like GPCOG and Portland METRO to provide services to new arrivals, creating a valuable source of transport for those in need.  We also support other emergency needs like municipal bus passes and move-in expenses.

Key Partners: Freeport Community Services, GPCOG, Hopeful Links, Maine Association for New Americans (MANA), Portland METRO



The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need for healthcare in underserved communities. MIRC is proud to advocate for accessible healthcare across our state and for increased MaineCare coverage regardless of immigration status. We also engage in ongoing healthcare outreach and education, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Key Partners: New Mainers Public Health Initiative, Spurwink, AK Health & Social Services, Gateway Community Services, Maine Department of Health & Human Services, Maine Equal Justice, Maine Access Immigrant Network, Portland Public Health Division, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Friends of Mind/Amigos de Mente, Frannie Peabody Center, Healthy Androscoggin, Atlantic Global Aid, Maine Mobile Health Program, Maine Association for New Americans (MANA)/Welcoming The Stranger 



Immigrants to our state face numerous challenges when attempting to communicate with fellow community members and family back home.  MIRC continues to support the emergency connectivity and technology needs of recent asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors by providing funds for cell phones, recharge cards and chargers, and SIM cards. Through an information-sharing foundation, MIRC keeps a large network of relationships informed on key issues pertain to Maines immigrant communities.

As stated above, we also work with Hope Acts to provide technical assistance for immigrants who must print out documents and other important items in order to become naturalized citizens. 

Key Partners: Amjambo Africa, Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Connectivity Authority, Maine Digital Equity Taskforce, National Digital Equity Center, Hopeful Links, Hope Acts.

Youth and Education


By providing educational opportunities for immigrants through our member organizations, we strengthen our society as a whole. Our members are proud to assist with school enrollment and integration for immigrant students, as well as English language courses such as ESOL for both youth and adults. We also promote opportunities for higher education including Maine’s new Free Community College Initiative.  

Key Partners: Community Organizing Alliance, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, Generational Noor, Portland Public Schools, South Portland Public Schools, Maine Department of Education, Portland Adult Education, Tree Street Youth Center, University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn Youth and Family Enrichment Services, and many other local school districts and organizations.

Our community plays an essential part in providing these services and helping us attain our ultimate goal of a strong and unified Maine. To learn more and get involved, visit maineimmigrantrights.org/ways-to-help