Penquis is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1967 to alleviate and eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty. Through its programs and subsidiaries, Penquis impacts all of Maine’s sixteen counties, but primarily serves low- and moderate-income individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties.
Our mission is to assist individuals and families in preventing, reducing, or eliminating poverty in their lives and, through partnerships, to engage the community in addressing economic and social needs.
Our vision is for a poverty-free Maine, where all people lead healthy lives full of opportunities to work and learn.
Our goal is for all Maine people to be safe, stable, connected, and financially secure.
Our efforts are focused on helping families and communities make measurable improvements in five areas: financial security, reliable transportation, stable housing, school readiness, and safe, nurturing environments for children and families.
The Promise of Community Action
Penquis is one of nearly 1,100 community action agencies across the United States and one of ten in Maine (see all ten). Community action agencies were established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America’s War on Poverty. The ambitious purpose of the Act is:
“To eliminate the paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty in this nation by opening to everyone the opportunity for education and training, the opportunity to work, and the opportunity to live in decency and dignity.”
Community action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community and are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.
Working Together to Help People and Change Lives
Penquis receives support from a variety of public and private sources, and partners with numerous individuals, businesses, organizations, and agencies to improve the quality of life for Maine residents. For more information about how Penquis is funded, view our Annual Report. To help make a difference, volunteer your time or make a gift.
Penquis is a member of the Maine Community Action Association, a United Way of Eastern Maine agency, and a chartered member of NeighborWorks America.