Since 2013, I have lived in Portland and Lewiston. For various reasons, I have had to use the general assistance program in both cities.

In Portland, I worked at Preble Street in the kitchen, cooking meals for the soup kitchen. I was told by the woman running the general assistance workfare program that there were so many people she didn’t have work for everyone.

In Lewiston, I have observed that people just show up at Trinity Jubilee Center, sign in then out and that seems to count as work. For those who don’t know, the Trinity Jubilee Center is a soup kitchen.

Why don’t these programs teach a work ethic?

Sweep streets, pick up trash, shovel sidewalks, remove graffiti, rake parks, to name a few. If people want to use these programs, they need to do the work.

That includes all people, no matter their race.

Maybe the government needs to look at these programs.

Michael Tetreault, Lewiston

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