BANGOR — The Ramada Inn has been used as an emergency homeless shelter for a little over a year. Its goal has been to provide housing would help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population and the greater community.
According to the Bangor City Planning Board, the Ramada Inn owner will need to apply for a zoning change in order to continue running the hotel as a shelter. People at Tuesday’s planning board meeting said they are concerned about keeping the shelter where it is now.
Many said they think it is attracting dangerous people and claim that some of those in the shelter are not even from Maine.
“Oftentimes they are not from this region and don’t have the same morals or beliefs that we do,” said one Bangor resident. “They’re here because they get something for free and I don’t think that’s the way we are here in Maine.”
The board is discussing a proposed zoning change that could potentially impact Ramada Inn’s current operation.
According to the board, they will first vote on the new zoning plan and then the city council will make the ultimate decision.
*Note: The article originally reported that Northern Light Health considered taking a previous COVID-19 testing site and turning it into a homeless shelter. That statement is incorrect and Northern Light currently has no affiliation with the consideration of the Ramada Inn’s zoning change.