BANGOR– In the midst of the pandemic, the Ramada Inn on Odlin Road in Bangor has operated as a temporary homeless shelter. But this fall, things will change.
Bangor City Council Chairman Dan Tremble said the temporary homeless shelter at the Ramada Inn is acting as an extension of the Hope House Health and Living Center and is operating under a contract with Maine State Housing Authority.
Tremble said the shelter helped protect the homeless from COVID-19.
“I don’t think the public realizes how bad the homeless situation is in Bangor,” said Tremble.
Tremble said the Ramada will cease operations as a temporary homeless shelter on Sept. 30.
“City officials feel pretty confident that at the end of September, we will be able to find a location for these people so they are not on the streets,” said Tremble.
Bangor Health and Community Service’s assistant director, Rindy Fogler, said she’s not sure where those living at the Ramada will go.
“I think the biggest challenge we face right now is the lack of affordable housing, the lack of landlords who are willing to take a risk on some folks who can have some pretty colorful backgrounds in terms of eviction history, criminal records, and things along that line,” said Fogler.
Fogler said other shelters are full at capacity as of now.
Hope House Director Josh D‘Alessio said the shelter can house up to 60 people. He said there are options to overcrowding with the shelters.
“We have a larger network of housing navigators and peer recovery coaches and support for people transitioning from homelessness,” said D’Alessio. “I think we will be able to transition many people from shelters, from the Ramada, into independent living before September 30th.”
D’Alessio said the City of Bangor is working with other community partners to provide long term housing and access to mental health services for the homeless.