ELLSWORTH – Last year, Emmaus Homeless Shelter helped 125 people, and now a company is helping them spruce the place up.
A check for $48,500 is kick starting some needed renovations at the Emmaus Homeless Shelter in Ellsworth.
Shelter staff said the surprise amount from Brookfield Renewable was more than they expected.
“We’re trying to end the cycle of homelessness…it was exciting because it prioritizes people that are homeless,” said Tracey Hair, the executive director of the shelter.
The 25 bed facility for individuals and families is in a building built in 1935, and it’s starting to show some age. The money will go to repairing a leak in the roof and other masonry work in the spring, so that staff can focus on helping people ahead of colder weather.
“Our focus in winter months and colder months is to make sure we have places and spaces for folks to seek shelter, we don’t have a lot of time to fundraise for improvements,” said Hair.
Emmaus also has a food pantry, and clothing for anyone in need. And staff work with people for a year after they leave the shelter to make sure they can stay in a new home.
With close to 40 facilities in Maine, Brookfield Renewable’s officials decided this was a cause they needed to support.
“We really look for organizations that align with our principles and the shelter really fit that bill very well,” said Tom Uncher, the vice president of New England operations for the company.
Shelter staff said there are 53 emergency shelter beds in all of Hancock County. And while Waldo and Washington Counties have domestic violence resources, there are no homeless shelters.
Emmaus will be accepting donations to help them raise the rest to make their repairs.