I have lived in transitional housing in a motel for 4 1/2 years. Living in a single room is hard, although it’s a lot easier than living in a vehicle. I have done both.

I look at the same four walls every day. I don’t have a kitchen sink or a stove, so I made my own stove with a countertop conventional oven. I’m fortunate that the motel owner allowed me to have an oven. I have to wash my dishes in the bathroom sink or the bathtub. Paying almost $900 a month for a room puts a big dent in my finances. I’m usually broke before the month is done, so I’m eager for payday to arrive.

Living in a car, the days were extremely long and the nights felt much longer. I would go to my storage unit just to use the electric to heat water for Ramen noodles. It was spring so I used a quarter of a tank of gas to keep warm each night. I was one of the lucky ones who had the luxury of a car to sleep in. The vast majority of unhoused people don’t.

I worry about the thousands of Mainers who are at risk of losing their homes because of this pandemic, through no fault of their own. Even pre-COVID, Maine faced a housing crisis. We need more affordable housing. The state needs to start investing in Mainers, so people like me aren’t forced out on the streets again.

Gina Morin, Lewiston


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