Inaugural Grant from LGBTQ Justice Fund Awarded to Maine Equal Justice

28 October 2019 , Posted in: Press Release

The Maine Justice Foundation announced today that the inaugural grant from its LGBTQ Justice Fund has been awarded to Maine Equal Justice to fund a partnership with Maine TransNet, a group that advocates and supports Maine’s transgender community.

Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice, says “Research and our work in the community makes clear that LGBTQ individuals suffer significant barriers to health care, especially disparities in the quality of care. We are working with Maine TransNet on an initiative that aims to educate the LBGTQ community and train health care providers. We will use the $3,500 grant to design training modules for both community members and health care providers and together we can work effectively to reduce the barriers to affordable, adequate care.”

This opportunity to collaborate on health care training and outreach is especially timely due to the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Maine. Training sessions for the LGBTQ community will cover how to access and enroll for health coverage, the relevant program rules and laws, and peoples’ rights under the law. Training sessions for health care providers will cover the unique needs of transgender people and how to create a safe and respectful environment for transgender patients.

The Maine Justice Foundation’s LGBTQ Justice Fund was created in 2017 to serve LGBTQ Mainers by supporting systemic advocacy and civil legal aid. It was instituted by Bill Robitzek with generous donations from Teresa Cloutier, Jon R. Doyle, Sarah McDaniel, Arnie Macdonald, Jodi Nofsinger, Judy Woodbury, and more than 70 other donors.

Founded in 1983 as the Maine Bar Foundation, the Maine Justice Foundation civil legal aid for poor and vulnerable Mainers. The organization has over $5 million in assets under management and annually disburses over $1.5 million. The Foundation funds six providers of civil legal aid in Maine:  Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, Immigration Legal Advocacy Project, Legal Services for the Elderly, Maine Equal Justice, Pine Tree Legal Assistance and Volunteer Lawyers Project. These six agencies serve more than 30,000 clients each year.

For more information, contact Mathew Scease at 207-622-3477