Helping the homeless get back on their feet

Helping the homeless get back on their feet

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Families First Community Center in Ellsworth has been tackling homelessness in rural areas. The organization said a history of poverty within a family is hard to overcome, but believes a transitional house can help change that by teaching financial responsibility.

Dawn Coffin is the president of the Families First community Center and the brains behind "operation Stability." 

“This house is going to be a transitional house for homeless families with children,” she said.

For one year, this home will house 6 different families. With the help of volunteers, the back of the complex will have free day care and financial classes for parents-so they can become self-sufficient.

But getting into the house won't be easy and it's not necessarily first come- first serve.

Coffin hopes to help those who’ve dealt with generational poverty.

“They've grown up in a situation where they just don't know any other way to live,” she said.
“And if you don't know any better than you really have no way to improve your situation. People have to be willing to change their lives to come and live here.”

Parents are required to work 40 hours a week toward their life plan or their goals that the organization will set at the beginning of their stay.

“It's not easy to live here,” she said, “but it'll definitely change someone's life.”

She said when a family leaves a transitional home, 75 percent of just the mothers, are capable paying their entire rent on their own

“Just from working from the job skills that they learned,” she said.

But there's a catch…

“Only thing we need to do is raise the money for the down payment,” said Coffin.

While the group has a purchasing sale with the seller, they still need to raise $55,000 before the first family can move in. So they're asking for help…

"We've had tremendous luck with the community,” she said. “They've been behind us one thousand percent, we could not be this far without them.”

Coffin hopes to raise enough money for the down payment by the end of winter-- and start moving families in by the spring. To donate or to apply for the program, click here. 

Copyright 2016 WLBZ


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