Proposed Lewiston Homeless Shelter Faces Uphill Approval Battle
The Lewiston City Council was recently presented a proposal to create, an around the clock, 24/7 homeless shelter, with added services in Lewiston.
It was Tuesday when they listened to a plan provided by Kaydenz Kitchen Food Pantry. According to WGME, President Kayden Boilard says,
“It would be kind of a one-stop-shop, you know, for resources, but at the same time it’s different from your normal shelter set up,”
Kaydens Kitchen Food Pantry is a nonprofit who are helping those in need, by providing food deliveries to those who are unable to feed themselves.
The proposal was to provide a full time shelter that also offers services to those in need. Case management would be offered as well as meals, mental health services, laundry services, medical assistance and they would offer 24 beds.
Megan Willgoos of WGME, was live tweeting at the meeting took place. She shared that there were dozens in attendance and reminded readers/watchers that this was only a workshop and their would be no public comment.
The shelter would be centrally located, close to Kennedy Park in Lewiston.
In 2009, there was a report put out that proposed a 10 year plan to eliminate homelessness in Lewiston.
This report said,
"There are about 100 people homeless on any given night in the two cities. They come from a larger group of over 1,300 who are homeless in any given year in the two communities."
The operational costs of the shelter would be provided ESHAP, (Emergency Shelter and Housing Assistance Program) which is through Maine Housing and funding of the build, is planned to be provided by, The American Rescue Plan.
They also told the council that they are expecting community members to make donations.
However, regarding the funding, the city council had concerns.
Council President, K. Lee Clement stated,
"I think this budget is unreasonable, “I don't think you're going to do it nowhere near the cost you proposed."
Council member Rick LaChapelle added,
"It would be an absolute shame to get a quarter of the way through and just run out of money, I do believe this is a statewide issue and should be addressed at a state level."
Out of all of the council members, only one spoke out in support of this proposal.
A vote will be made within the next couple weeks and announced at the next meeting.
We will continue to follow this story as updates are released.
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