Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks End Of Long Road For Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter

Updated 2 years ago

Hundreds of people gathered in Waterville Monday morning as the ribbon was cut on the new Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter.After years of planning and patience, the new 8000 square foot facility is now a reality. It replaces the old run-down building on Ticonic Street that had tried to keep up with the needs of central Maine’s most vulnerable people.The new shelter features 40 adult beds, plus toddler beds and portable cribs for kids, as well as floor mats for additional sleeping for those frigid nights that loom ahead. Among those who showed up for the occasion was Governor LePage, who served on the shelter’s board for years before moving to the Blaine House. “It’s all about helping people that are down and out and helping them get back on their feet,” LePage told the crowd. “And the most important and proud thing about it is it’s not done by government.”Last year, about half of the people who stayed at the shelter worked but didn’t earn enough money to pay for an apartment. The shelter’s Executive Director, Betty Palmer, says that’s where the homeless prevention services offered here can help. “So if you work 40 hours a week and your boss cuts you down to the 32 and you’re short on your rent $35, $55, $80 a month, in about 6 months you’re homeless,” Palmer said. “We had a woman come in, she was about my age and she got cut from 40 to 32 hours. And we sat with her employer and her and he gave her back her 40 hours. We helped her catch up her back rent and she stayed stably housed.”Palmer said the plan is to go beyond just putting a roof over people’s heads. They want to help folks lead better, more productive lives. “If you don’t have a primary care physician and you have health issues, we want to establish you with a local primary care physician. We want to look at your education. Did you get your GED? Do you have an education and you weren’t able to use it because you couldn’t find work with your resume? Then we help you with your resume so you can find good employment.”The Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter is expected to be ready to go this week. Staff tells us they’re just waiting on the phones to be hooked up and one last inspection of the fire alarms.Anyone wishing to donate to the shelter can find out how on their website:Your text to link…