Mainehousing Awards $3.2 Million to Address Youth Homelessness
MaineHousing has awarded $3.2 million to organizations to address youth homelessness in Maine. Penquis, Preble Street, Shaw House and Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP), and Volunteers of America: Northern New England were awarded funding to create new and innovative programs to end and prevent youth homelessness.
“As we work to address and prevent all forms of homelessness, this work is especially important,” said Daniel Brennan, Director of MaineHousing. “We know that investing in Maine’s youth is key to creating better long-term outcomes for young people who have experienced homelessness. This is a preventable and solvable issue. We are honored to lead this effort in Maine and be an example of what other rural communities can – and must – do across the U.S.”
The funds are available as a result of the $3.35 million dollar U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YDHP) grant. New Beginnings, the only emergency shelter licensed for 24-hour care for youth in Maine, was critical in getting the funding to Maine.
“Since 2018, New Beginnings has worked with over 40 community partners to bring these much-needed resources to end and prevent youth homelessness to Maine,” said New Beginnings’ Executive Director Chris Bicknell. “This funding is the culmination of years of effort and it’s the first step in a statewide strategy that will dramatically change the lives of children and youth who are at risk for homelessness in Maine. New Beginnings is proud to have played a leadership role in this important effort to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth and young adults in Maine.”
Subgrantees were awarded in four project categories:
|Navigation and Diversion – Geographically nimble teams providing assistance to youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, helping them connect with key resources for basic needs and resolving homelessness.||Preble Street
Shaw House & ACAP
|Supportive Services Paired with Housing Choice Vouchers – Services provided to young adults to help them through the housing search process and provide support once housed.||Volunteers of America NNE||$319,600|
|Transitional Housing to Rapid Re-Housing – A joint component program offering young adults opportunities: a service-intensive project for help with life skills or a supportive service to move to independent living.||Preble Street
Shaw House & ACAP
|Host Home – a pilot program designed to leverage safe spaces in community members’ homes for youth and young adults when they have nowhere else to stay.||Penquis||$200,000|
These grants were selected for funding by a statewide group representing MaineHousing, the Maine Department of Corrections, the Maine Department of Education, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, local municipalities, nonprofit youth serving agencies, and most importantly, youth with lived experience in homelessness.
“We worked hard to make sure this funding is going to those lacking funding in rural areas,” said Kelsea Vincent of the Maine Statewide Youth Action Board. “I’m excited to see how many lives we are able to change with this demonstration process. These organizations have worked hard to create outstanding projects that will create more homes and opportunities for youth and young adults.”
Maine is one of only a few rural communities in the U.S. to receive this funding. Subgrantee funding decisions placed an emphasis on improved and increased access to services specific to youth experiencing homelessness in rural communities. The funded projects will serve as models to address youth homelessness in other rural communities across the United States.
MaineHousing has helped Maine people own, rent, repair, and heat their homes since 1969. MaineHousing is an independent state authority created to address the problems of unsafe, unsuitable, overcrowded, and unaffordable housing. MaineHousing is a $1.8 billion financial institution with a staff of over 170 people. MaineHousing assists more than 90,000 Maine households and invests more than $300 million in the Maine economy annually. For more information, visit mainehousing.org.