The mission of the Material Aid and Advocacy Program (MAAP) is to support and empower unhoused and underhoused community members, through material aid, access to resources, organizing support and advocacy opportunities. Working with unhoused community members and allies, we seek systemic solutions that address the root causes of homelessness, poverty, and inequality. Housing justice, racial justice, ending the racist war on drugs, prison abolition, decriminalization of homelessness, accessible and comprehensive healthcare for all are our work. While doing this we support people in meeting their self-identified needs through outreach and sweep support, and at our low-threshold drop-in space where people access material aid and meals; have risk reduction conversations and develop safety plans; connect to resources and providers; build community; care for each other; and organize.
MAAP envisions a world where housing is a right and not a reward. Where no one is denied or loses housing because they are poor, use drugs, have a substance use disorder, experience challenges with their mental health, or have been incarcerated (best - no one is incarcerated). Where housing is used for shelter, not profit. Where people have the ability to live in the communities they choose and with whom they want. Where community members have the support they need to engage in activities that are meaningful to them including parenting, work, education, leisure activities, and being civically engaged and have access to healthcare including harm reduction, safe consumption sites, voluntary treatment, and mental healthcare.
The Material Aid and Advocacy Program (MAAP) began as a program of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in 1944 to meet the needs of those who had been displaced and were in dire material need during World War II. Clothing, household goods, hygienic, and hospital supplies were collected, mended, and sent to sites internationally. AFSC’s hope was that once emergency aid was provided further social justice work could get underway. In 2004, MAAP re-focused to solely support our local community.
Over 70 years later, MAAP continues to fulfill the mission of what was known as the Emergency Material Aid program (EMAP). By addressing some of people's self-identified basic and immediate needs and providing material support to the community members we serve, we build connections and community. MAAP’s relationships are foundational to our ability to take leadership and learn from, collaborate with, and be accountable to MAAP's unhoused organizers and community members in advocacy, public education, and organizing work. We are take leadership from and are accountable to our community members, and are guided by their experiences and expertise in our daily work support them in improving their immediate situations and through crisis, and in collectively working towards long-term solutions to homelessness, and address the systemic causes of homelessness, poverty, and inequality.
For 73 years, MAAP’s work was done as a program of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). On October 1, 2017 MAAP became an independent organization. On August 13, 2018 we received our 501(c)3 designation from the IRS.