BANGOR – As Maine’s winter weather approaches shelters are preparing to keep those without a home safe.
Archie Curry, at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, said as the temperatures drop the demand for housing rises. However, he said, it’s becoming difficult as shelters are almost full.
“Statistically we are at 97 percent capacity,” said Program Manager Archie Curry.
“We have been for quite some time and that just increases of course as weather gets colder,” he said.
“Our shelter is full probably on a nightly basis through the whole year,” said the Bruce Hews, the campus manager of operations and community affairs at the Hope House.
“We do see an uptake of people that are sleeping outside wanting to get in. People that have been out all summer,” he said.
Curry said they try their best to accommodate everyone who walks through the doors. This year the shelter is opening a warming shelter which will be open between 6:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
“It gives folks a place to come in and get out of the elements. We serve coffee, tea, snacks if we have them,” Curry said. “We did that last year. It was pretty successful in doing it so we’re doing it again this year.”
Hews said not only is it important to keep them warm in the winter months, but also to provide meals as the holidays approach.
“We’re doing the Thanksgiving dinner but we’re also doing a Christmas dinner,” Hews said. “They’re human beings and they deserve to have a good meal and to have a time where they can celebrate also.”
Both Curry and Hews said shelters in the area work together to get as many people off the streets and into a home.
Both the Hope House and the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter provide resources to bring change to their lives. At this time, both shelters agree they’re looking for donations of warm clothes and sleeping bags.
“The people in the greater Bangor area are just so generous,” Curry said.
“We couldn’t help these people unless our community comes together and does what they do,” Hews added.