This is in response to the Sun Journal article, “Housing advocates laud eviction ban, but say rental assistance is needed” (Sept. 4).

I applaud the writer for highlighting the need for work beyond the federal eviction moratorium issued by the CDC, but I want to highlight something not addressed: Increased pressure on unaccompanied youth and young adults. When that moratorium expires in December, young people will be disproportionately affected and likely face increased rates of homelessness.

When young people can meet requirements to secure safe, stable housing, it is unlikely they also have savings or access to loans. That means they are more likely to fall behind and become unable to meet requirements to maintain housing come December. The most recent Voices of Youth Count estimates that one in 30 youth (ages 13-17) and one in 10 young adults (ages 18-25) experience homelessness each year. Those numbers are already unacceptable and responses (and lack thereof) by policymakers to the COVID-19 pandemic are creating situations where Maine will likely see an increase in rates of young people experiencing homelessness.

The city of Lewiston has established temporary assistance for renters, but what long term solutions are available?

What consideration is being given regarding those who are at an increased risk of experiencing homelessness as winter approaches? Or for those who are more likely to secure low-wage jobs due to limitations in education or experience?

For young people who have experienced homelessness, or for those who are near, the compounding burden of these questions weighs heavily.

Kris Pitts, Lewiston


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