Maine homeless shelters need help gearing up for colder months

Shelters looking for cold weather donations

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Now that the colder months are upon us, the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, along with other homeless shelters across Maine, are looking for cold weather donations; such as blankets or sleeping bags.

In 2015, the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter helped almost 500 people in need. Paul Hammond is the program director for the shelter. He has seen firsthand the impact that the winter months have on the homeless community.

"That's when things really become life-threatening if folks are out and about when the temperatures start going down," he said. "We open up extra space in the winter, as many shelters do in the state. Put extra beds and cots in to help handle the overflow."

The shelter could not do any of it without the support from the community. Homeless shelters across Maine depend on donations from community members to be able to service the areas homeless population.

"Sixty to 70 percent of our funding comes from the community," Hammond said. "We, for example, have a food budget of $0 and feed over 120 meals a day … that's the kind of support we get from the community. We couldn't do what we do without that support."

To find out what a homeless shelter near you is looking for, visit their website.

Copyright 2016 WLBZ


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