DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Times are tough for Piscataquis County residents who have lost their jobs or are on disability, so the Piscataquis County Transition Team gave them a lift Wednesday at a block party in Dover-Foxcroft.
A barbecue, free food from the Good Shepherd Food-Bank and Living Word Food Cupboard, and advice and information provided at the party were just the boost many of the 62 participants needed.
Juanita Smith, 60, of Dover-Foxcroft had worked 35 years for Pride Manufacturing and later for American Pride before she was laid off early last year when the company consolidated elsewhere.
“I came to see if maybe I could find a job. I don’t like this sitting around,” Smith said. She said the only work she could find since her layoff was cleaning houses and businesses, and that does not cover all of her living costs.
The transition team, which consists of volunteers from the education field, social service agencies, local businesses, state and municipal offices, employment agencies, and work force development and training organizations, have been working hard to provide resources and information to the unemployed.
“This is kind of a test run,” team member James Macomber said Wednesday. Macomber, who was cooking hamburgers and hot dogs on a barbecue grill, said the event was for laid-off employees but was open to serve anyone in need. He said the team might hold a similar function later in the fall.
Sharon Bemis of Atkinson, who is disabled, found the help she needed for school supplies for her children, Kimberly, 13, and David, 10, as did Eilean Allen, 44, of Dover-Foxcroft, who was accompanied by her son, Dennis Allen III, 14.
Those who attended praised the transition team’s efforts. “Any help is great,” Bemis said.