Governor Paul LePage did the honors at a very special ribbon-cutting at the Mid-Maine Homeless shelter.
“We have put out a campaign to raise money for an elevator so that we would have the opportunity to now build out the second floor,” said the shelter’s board chair Dirk Kirschner.
Now the recently opened shelter on Colby street can serve even more people thanks to the generosity of the community.
“This symbolizes a lot of volunteers and the greater Waterville area or northern Kennebeck area, over a decade of saving pennies, literally saving pennies, to accomplish the goal which was to replace the old house on Taconic Street, which was really substandard in many ways,” said LePage.
LePage himself spent a decade as co-chair of the board at MMHS.
“It’s very difficult work, because a lot of it is volunteers, and volunteers see some very difficult situations. But the reason it’s so important is because if you make a difference in one or two people’s lives, it’s all worthwhile,” said LePage.
“I can’t tell you the number of things he did. So this is personal. This is like him coming back home. So for me it’s very appropriate that our governor was also the man who spent so much time and effort into this mission that we have,” said shelter board member Doug Cutchin.
Officials at the shelter say this ribbon-cutting isn’t just about unveiling a new elevator. it’s about renewing a commitment to ending homelessness in this area.
“Originally we just provided a little emergency shelter and a little help. And now our whole purpose is to bring you in, give you the emergency shelter you need. But we want to make the case of homelessness temporary. And our whole goal is to make you self-reliant,” said Cutchin.
“More than just a meal and a place to put your head, but a place where you can counsel and work with people during this tough period that they go through,” said LePage.