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ACAP Sets up Temporary Homeless Shelter at Local Hotel

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 6:51 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - With winter here in The County, ACAP has set up a temporary shelter at a local hotel. Giving those experiencing homelessness a warm place to stay.

“Our facility that we have is a 10-bed facility at this point,” Heidi Rackliffe said. “I think on day one we had 8 in the facility. We currently have 7 residents in our temporary shelter. Some of those individuals will stay with us for whatever reason they’re unable to go to the local shelter. But a majority of them will shift over to the local homeless shelter.”

Given the pandemic, Rackliffe says testing needs to happen before an individual can make the transition to the Sister Mary O’Donnell shelter.

“The local shelter that we have here is very communal living,” Rackliffe adds. “It’s important that in order for someone to go into a communal living environment that they test negative for COVID. So our shelter is simply a holdover for individuals while they’re in the process of getting their COVID test.”

Both at the temporary facility and the local shelter, numbers are rising.

“We are getting full. But I mean we are doing the best we can with the space we have,” Melanie Bubar said. “With COVID, our low barrier shelter did go from 20 beds to 15 to allow for the spacing in between beds that the CDC has required. We are just trying to get people housed as soon as we can. The hotel rooms are amazing because we don’t want anyone to be on the street especially in this weather.”

“I can’t imagine having to walk everywhere because you don’t have transportation,” Rackliffe said. “Or knowing where the anxiety and the stress that can come with where am I going to sleep tonight. It’s because of partnerships and projects that we have, that make it so individuals don’t have to feel that.”

Given the increase in numbers at both facilities, Rackliffe says ACAP does have plans in place to secure more rooms at the temporary shelter.

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