After voicing support for the state-wide gay marriage referendum last fall, the Preble Street Homeless Voices for Justice program was cut off from a major funding source - the Catholic Church. Because the organization violated its agreement to uphold Catholic teachings, the diocese withdrew an estimated $17,000 in funding this year alone.
With the nation still reeling from the recession, demand remains high for hot meals and other services provided by the center. Funding cuts would drastically reduce the Preble Street Resource Center's capacity to feed the thousands of homeless it serves each year.
To help the organization make up the missing funding, Governor John Baldacci hosted a massive spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Over 900 Maine residents attended the fundraiser, each paying $5 a plate.
WCSH6 reports Gov. Baldacci explained,
"First of all let me make clear that the bishop was within his rights with the contract...but i want to make sure that we as a community provide that safety net of services that Preble Street provided. It's critical that they're there and it's important to the community."