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Lewiston Director Receives QHC Recognition

LEWISTON, ME (December 19, 2022) — Elaine Brackett, Lewiston’s Social Services Director since November 2019, has a passion that daily fuels her response to clients.  One of eight children who grew up in a dysfunctional setting, she knows firsthand what it’s like to live in an abandoned building, have no home heating oil, and have no food. Brackett, a Lewiston native, was a long-time caretaker for her parents and siblings, and her self-care was last on the list.

She eventually knew she wanted a different life for herself and took a fork in the road towards self-sufficiency by facing the unknown to pursue change and accepting her first job.  Today, she advocates the same for the clients she serves, and her dedicated efforts have recently rendered her the title of Quality Housing Coalition (QHC) Housing Champion of 2022, touted as a “tireless advocate” by Victoria Morales, Executive Director/Founder of the QHC.

“We hope that (this recognition) provides you with meaningful acknowledgement of our appreciation for the hard work you are doing in the area of housing for the Lewiston community,” said Morales when sharing the news with Brackett.

Brackett commenced her tenure with the City of Lewiston as a Caseworker, serving for 32 years in that capacity, was promoted to Deputy Social Services Director, and then took the Social Services helm in 2019. Prior to working for the City of Lewiston, she worked as a Community Service Worker for Community Concepts.

She works daily with various landlords and organizations in response to housing and other needs for low-income individuals and families. 

“Everyone has a story, and when I meet with clients, it’s important to focus on their potential.  Not only do I want to assist with their immediate need but also want to embrace them and get to know them,” said Brackett.  “Once an initial need is addressed, I continue outreach as to programs and opportunities that a particular client might benefit from on their individual road to self-sufficiency.”

Brackett clearly believes in positive outcomes and doesn’t give up on individuals as evidenced by a client she served 30+ years ago.  The woman was homeless and asked Brackett to keep her stuffed animal for her and take care of it until she came back for it.  The stuffed animal still prominently sits in Brackett’s office, “I told her I’d watch over it for her, and I will until she comes back.”

“Director Brackett has been helping people her entire career.  We appreciate her dedication to the City of Lewiston and its residents for over three decades, and she is incredibly deserving of this recognition,” said Mayor Carl L. Sheline.

“I’m humbled,” was Brackett’s response when learning of the Quality Housing Coalition recognition, taking a moment to also praise the Coalition’s efforts, “They are as enthusiastic about helping folks as I am.”

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