A New Homeless Shelter Has Been Approved at an Augusta, Maine Church
According to the Kennebec Journal, a new homeless shelter will be opening in Maine's Capital city in a couple months.
The KJ says that the emergency overnight shelter planned for the South Parish Congregational Church was unanimously approved by city officials.
The KJ went on to say that the new shelter is going to be funded both by the United way of Kennebec Valley as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The current plan is for this new shelter to be open from November through April and serve those in need from 7 pm to 7am.
Nate Richards, pastor of the South Parish Congregational Church, told the Augusta Planning Board,
“Here in Augusta we believe there is a dire need for an emergency overnight shelter during the coldest times of the year, for people struggling, for whatever reasons, with homelessness. We believe this is a basic need that needs to be met by every community. And we are offering a basic solution. It’s part of our mission to show kindness and compassion to others. We want to do this.”
Though the shelter doesn't currently meet the required life-safety code standards, the city of Augusta is currently working with the State Fire Marshal to get as many safety measures in place as they can, while still allowing them to open on time for the cold weather.
For example, the building technically requires a sprinkler system in order to have people sleeping inside on sleeping pads, however it's currently unknown whether those updates will be able to get installed prior to the shelter needing to open.