I came to the United States as an asylum seeker from Africa. I experienced war, violence, and killing and had to flee my country. I am grateful to be here and want to give back to the place that has welcomed me as a New Mainer.
Like immigrants I came here with my unique story, yet share common experiences with others. We came from many countries and speak many languages. We came from many walks of life: humanitarian, healthcare provider, office-worker, business owner, musician, lawyer, farmer, and more. Asylum seekers are eager to work, and many are employed in jobs that might otherwise go unfilled.
We are Mainers helping new Mainers, and immigrants helping immigrants. Like other newcomers, I am inspired to support my city, state and country. The Maine Africans Asylum Resources Center (MAAR Center) is my way to give back.
The Maine Africans Asylum Resource Center is a nonprofit organization with Section 501(c)(3) status as a public charity. We are an Immigrant-Led-Organization (ILO). MAAR Center launched early 2023.
We are all volunteers, working our "regular jobs" and donating our time and talents to MAAR Center.
We are helping New Mainers manage their status, housing, employment, cultural, and educational challenges.
Language interpretation is provided in French, Lingala, Portuguese, Swahili, Spanish, Arabic, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, and other languages.
Many asylum seekers arrive in this country after walking for months or years, from Central and South America. They have survived dangerous, difficult travels. Some arrive from other places around the world. Many have had to flee and leave family members behind.
When they arrive, they are exhausted, hungry, and frightened. They don't know what to do next.
They need to:
The MAAR Center team is:
MAAR Center Clinic
We meet at the
The First Parish Church
425 Congress Street
Portland, Maine 04101
Our current schedule:
By Appointment only
Asylum Application &
By appointment only
* We provide only assistance that is nonlegal immigration and nationality law assistance.
This includes only:
We provide access to computers, copier, and mailing supplies.
Language Interpretation in:
French, Lingala, Portuguese, Swahili, Spanish, Arabic, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi and more
ALL SERVICES ARE FREE
Thank You for Your Support
We are happy to collaborate with community members and organizations who share the vision of assisting New Mainers
How You Can Help:
SEE "Help Our Cause" BELOW
Your donations directly support New Mainers with their asylum paperwork, housing, food, and basic needs. The MAAR Center team is all volunteers.
Maine Africans Asylum Resource Center has 501(c)(3) status. Your donations and gifts are tax-deductible.
Asylum seekers must file their paperwork with USCIS or the Immigration Court to be in the US legally. Then they must wait 150 days to apply for work permits.
They are eager to find housing, adjust to American culture, learn or improve English, be ready to work, and become self-sufficient.
The MAAR Center team provides Services, Education, Assistance, Resources, Connections, and Help.
You can assist unhoused asylum seekers by helping them to secure a room, apartment or house to rent.
New Mainers often need a guarantor, co-signer, or sponsor. They may need help with a security deposit and move-in basics.
The MAAR Center team will coordinate all the details with you and provide on-going support.
We are looking for compassionate people to join our "Host a New Mainer" program, to provide a person with a bedroom and kitchen access, in a safe and caring environment.
The MAAR Center team will provide all case management services and be your connection. Hosts are NOT required to support residents financially or help the resident to secure long-term housing.