“We see a major spike of need in the Spring time.”
Stephen Eyler has worked for homeless services of Aroostook for six years now. He says homeless affects many in the county.
“We ask folks when they come in the shelter, where was the last place you stayed and why can’t you stay there anymore, we hear over and over again, they are staying on someone’s couch and they can’t be there anymore.”
Eyler says couch surfing is alive and well here in the County.
“There’s a lot of people that we don’t know about, that are truly homeless and could benefit from our services and are living on peoples couches and homes until they don’t have a couch left that they can stay and then they come to us for help.”
A lack of Employment, a decent wage and transportation play a big role in why so many are homeless.
“To rent a place often times is going to require our shelter residents, using them as the example, it’s going to require them to work multiple part time jobs in order to generate enough income to be able to pay for a place to live.”
More than 900 people have used the shelter over the past six years. Eyler says there are several different reasons why people seek their services.
“They’re people who have had relationships that have gone bad or people who have medical problems, or mental health problems, they lost their job, there is no way to pay for their rent or evicted, we see that all the time.”
Eyler says there isn’t a quick fix for the county’s homeless situation, but there are several community organizations working with him to combat the problem.