Donations Needed to Keep Elijah House Open 

”I’m 33 years old right now. For about the last 10 years, I’ve been not a place to go, no place to permanently go. I’ve had friends houses that I’ve slept on their floors our couches.”Earlier this year, Attle Smith found a place to stay: The Elijah House in Bangor. It’s a 10 bed shelter that’s been around for two years, helping nearly 200 men get a second chance at life.”I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I did pills, smoked marijuana. Did pretty much everything except for needles,” said Smith.Smith’s story is similar to those of the other men who seek shelter at the Elijah House– it’s a place unlike any other in the Bangor area.”The other shelters in town are basically helping people that are homeless, have given them a place to stay and direct them to the next stage. Here, it’s directly involved with substance abuse,” said Bill Rae, executive director of Manna.Counselors at the Elijah House say the fact that men can come into the shelter right off the street is something that sets the Elijah House apart, “If we can get guys in at this level and sort of stop the madness now instead of waiting two years when they’re in jail or in the hospital or worse.”Due to cutbacks from Medicare, Medicaid and the state, the Elijah House is in financial trouble.Bill Rae, executive director of Manna, is appealing to the public for monetary donations to help the shelter stay open.”We can’t close the doors because I’m not going to go and tell these young men and older men there’s no place for then to be,” said Rae.Rae says he needs to raise $125,000 in the next year in order to keep the doors open, doors that Smith says have changed his life.”When I walked in here I was pretty well down to the floor. I can walk straight up now without having to be ashamed of who I am.”If you would like to help, you can contact Bill Rae at 990-2870 extension 102.