providing a safe, warm place to sleep this winter

Community Emergency Shelter Committee to host public info sessions

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 4:00pm

MIDCOAST — Community residents are invited to attend three information sessions in September to learn more about an emergency winter shelter, pilot program, which hopes to assist people experiencing homelessness, by providing a safe, warm place to sleep this winter.

These info sessions are hosted by the Community Emergency Shelter Committee, which includes local clergy, community leaders, and staff from the Knox County Homeless Coalition (KCHC). This group has been working for over a year to launch a pilot program to protect the most vulnerable among them; the goal is to protect individuals and families from exposure when the temperature plummets.

The Flanagan Community Rec Center, in Rockland, is the proposed location for the winter pilot program and could open as early as December 2019, dependent upon funding.

The following info sessions will be an opportunity to learn more about the proposed shelter, as well as how to support this pilot, including volunteer and employment opportunities. The info sessions are scheduled for the following dates:

Thursday, September 12, at 7 p.m. – Nativity Lutheran Church, 179 Old County Road, Rockport
Thursday, September 19, at 1 p.m. – First Congregational Church – UCC of Camden, 55 Elm Street, Camden
Thursday, September 26, at 5:30 p.m. – Flanagan Community Rec Center, 61 Limerock, Rockland

The winter months can be very harsh in Midcoast Maine. “Finding a warm, safe place to escape the cold is critical to survival among those who are homeless.” said Pastor Wendy Anderson of the Nativity Lutheran Church, in a news release. KCHC’s Hospitality House Family Shelter in Rockport does provide beds for 22 individuals and families.

In addition, churches and local town general assistance offices are sometimes able to help families pay for temporary stays in motels. However, these resources cannot serve the needs of all the homeless individuals, many of whom are children, in the local area.

“We’re excited about this collaboration with KCHC to help address the critical need for emergency shelter, especially in the winter months,” said Jeanne Denny, social worker for St. Brendan the Navigator and chair of the Community Emergency Shelter Committee. “This will be a great first step to help us understand the needs in order to develop longer-term solutions for our community.”

To learn more about the Community Emergency Shelter pilot, contact Jeanne Denny at 207-230-8227 or emergencyshelterpilot@gmail.com. Donations can be mailed to: Emergency Shelter Pilot, PO Box 1255, Rockland, ME, 04841. Make checks payable to “Knox County Homeless Coalition” and note: “Emergency Shelter Pilot Fund,” as KCHC is acting as the fiscal sponsor for this pilot.

About Knox County Homeless Coalition
Knox County Homeless Coalition is the only dedicated homeless service organization in the county, with outreach throughout Knox, Waldo and parts of northern Lincoln County — helping families achieve sustainable independence and a hopeful future. Their client-focused approach begins with building trusting relationships, identifies and builds on an individual’s strengths and simultaneously works to break down barriers to independence. KCHC is committed to delivering all services with respect, dignity and genuine caring, according to KCHC.

KCHC’s success rate of sustainability, for clients who remain engaged in the full program is 92%. Programs include: Hospitality House Family Shelter; comprehensive case management; The Landing Place Youth Program; transportation; emergency services and supply store; and outbound food distribution and pantry.