The Aroostook County Action Program will soon be launching a new service.

Because of a large increase in individuals and families seeking assistance who are experiencing crisis, homelessness or housing insecure, ACAP is launching the Hope and Prosperity Center. The center will be located at ACAP’s 771 Main Street Presque Isle location and will open its doors this fall.

The center will bring same day access to all of ACAP’s programs such as coaching (including recovery coaching), workforce development, housing, preventative health and other services, all in one space.

The center will offer space for customers to access computers for conducting job searches and other resources online, meeting rooms for individuals and families to work with ACAP coaches, employment counselors, program staff and professionals from other agencies.  A noontime meal for individuals actively working with staff will also be provided.

Jason Parent, ACAP Executive Director/CEO, says the need for this center has been evident over the last year. “This is the best next step in providing more comprehensive services to our customers across The County, and continuing the expansion of our coaching services region-wide."

ACAP served more than 180 individuals and families between April 1st and June 30 who were homeless or housing insecure, including 28 people who walked-in to the location near Walmart in Presque Isle. Another 42 connected with ACAP by phone and through other outreach seeking shelter.

Support for the Hope and Prosperity Center has come from private donors, including Presque Isle native and philanthropist Mary Smith.  The California resident has supported numerous organizations and projects in the Star City including Northern Maine Community College, University of Maine at Presque Isle, Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library and others. Smith has provided funding for a year for newly named  center director Heidi Rackliffe to get the project off the ground, lead day-to-day operations, and plan for future expansion and a more permanent home for the facility. “Getting the Hope and Prosperity Center off the ground this fall, in this initial capacity, is the first step in getting to an even better and more sustainable solution that will best serve our area long term,” said Rackliffe.