Bayside is a vibrant community within the city of Portland, Maine. It is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the state of Maine, home of immigrants and refugees from many countries as well as many long term Portland residents. It is also a major center for social services, public housing, city government, and small businesses. The geographic boundaries defining the Bayside community are the following city streets: Congress Street to the South, High Street to the West, Marginal Way to the North, and Franklin Arterial to the East.
A major aspect of this Bayside Community Nursing Partnership involves work with Portland's most underserved and vulnerable. People experiencing homelessness, debilitating physical and mental health problems, addictions, and HIV seek food, shelter, and healthcare support from a variety of service providers. These include Adult, Family, and Teen Shelters; Soup Kitchens; Health Services for the Homeless, and the Preble Street Resource Center. USM students partner with existing resources to expand and develop relationships that work toward empowerment of disadvantaged populations. Community partners are open to collaborative work in this neighborhood.
In the last three years students have been involved in large and small group projects that have included work with homeless teens, screening of older adults in public housing, home visiting of Hospice patients, working in the local soup kitchen, developing curricula for the National Youth Sports Program offered to children in the neighborhood, providing workshops on heart health for children and teens, collecting donations and wrapping presents for Christmas in the neighborhood and providing Thanksgiving baskets to local families.
Currently students are developing a reading program for children and young adults living in low income housing and the family shelter, working with a group to expand the community gardening project at the Oxford Shelter, working with teachers, nurse practitioners and coaches to develop a health fair at the high school.
For the third year students are organizing and fundraising for the Bayside Spring into Health Fair. This event is sponsored by the local business community and brings health and safety information directly to the people of Bayside. Many other CONHP community partnerships participate in the fair. In addition local fire, rescue, police, social service, recreation and health care providers host booths. Demonstrations on nutrition, health and fitness highlight the benefits of healthy living. The community looks forward to this exciting annual event.
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