Franklin County to get First Homeless Shelter 

A group of church and social services organizations are banding together to open Franklin County’s first homeless shelter this fall. The coalition known as Western Maine Homeless Outreach will open the 20- to 24-bed shelter for families in the basement of Farmington’s Living Waters Assembly of God Church in October. The goal is to eventually raise enough money for a free-standing shelter. The Rev. Steve Bracy says he has been getting two or three calls per week from people seeking shelter. Bonita Tompkins of the United way tells the Morning Sentinel, says the largely rural county’s homeless don’t fit the normal stereotypes of panhandlers sleeping on street corners. She says they are often invisible, sleeping on friends’ couches, in cars or in camps.