BANGOR — The city of Bangor recently awarded “Hope for Homeless” a $10,000 grant.
“A shelter is to provide basically a safe warm housing. Their food budgets, some of them are nonexistent. They have to rely on donations or hopefully, their board has some sort of a budget,” said Ann Sweeney, co-founder of Hope for Homeless.
Sweeney started the organization two years ago in her home, and now with the help of Maine space storage, her husband, and volunteers its’ been growing.
A Bangor community development official says COVID-19 has directly affected the city’s homeless community.
“The pandemic has increased need so it put people that were already in financial strains. It kinda set them over the edge,” said Tyler Collins, community and economic development director.
Sweeney said she applied because the need for her help has intensified.
“We received a grant from the city of Bangor to help with the COVID effort with feeding our outside homeless people which we’ve been trying to do all winter. We have canned vegetables, broth and we have people picking it up today to start cooking again this weekend.”
Sweeney said she spent $2,300 so far. She says that money was used for breakfasts and lunches for shelter occupants.
Ann says the grant will go a long way and for the next 90 days, some of the homeless will be provided with food.
In the four storage units, she keeps clothes of all sizes, sanitation supplies, pocket warmers, and something Sweeney likes to call blessing bags.
“We will provide all the breakfasts’ different type of cereals, muffins, milk, juices, snacks. Then at lunchtime, we can quote ‘beef up the lunches’ a little bit,” she said.
Sweeney said she dreams of providing housing for the homeless in the years to come but for now, clothing that fits and hot meals will have to do.
She said people can follow her Facebook page to get up to date on the things Hope for Homeless is doing and donate if they want.
A woman following the Facebook page donated two freezers.
Sweeney said she sees her mission as serving the homeless.