Intervention Aroostook: 4.26.2022
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -A local social service agency is one step closer to bringing the first ever youth homeless shelter in Aroostook County to fruition. Shawn Cunningham has more in this week’s Intervention Aroostook.
In just a few months a new site will open in Mars Hill. The first ever county based youth homeless shelter coordinated by the Northern Lighthouse. In addition to actual shelter, the four bed facility for youth aged 17 and under will provide a series of services including educational resources, family support, counseling and if needed substance use resources. Having all this right here in the county community is filling a huge need says Northern Lighthouse COO Black Hatt.
Blake Hatt, COO The Northern Lighthouse
“the closest youth homeless shelter in Maine to Aroostook County is Bangor. our homeless population is increasing and the supports needed for those individuals are needed even more so and what we have learned is there is a need for youth homeless services here because we are currently are sending kids to Bangor.”
Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP
Hence the decision by the agency to open The Safe Harbor Shelter site in Mars Hill. He says they’ve been supported through a number of grants and gifts from local organizations, including the most recent grant of nearly 92 thousand dollars from the Rodney and Mary Barton Smith Foundation to help purchase a fire alarm and sprinkler system for the site ensuring it will be up to safety code. Hatt says its important to keep youth local...
“it could be temporary and even if temporary they need a safe place to go and we strongly believe that these youth should be staying i their community where they can stay connected to their friends family their school.”
But are four beds enough with a homeless population that’s on the rise in the county...Hatt responds....
“that’s just a start we are anticipating the need for growth in the future unfortunately but we are starting with four beds..”
Four beds and a beginning of endless opportunities to impact young lives in need. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.
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