COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Homeless Shelter Of Aroostook With Steve Eyler & Joann White
If you think the weather outside is frightful, just imagine, if only for a moment, about friends and neighbors in our community who spend their days and nights outside in the cold.
According to Steve Eyler, Executive Director of Homeless Services of Aroostook,
"Homelessness here in Aroostook County is really an epidemic and there's a lot more homelessness that most people realize."
Believe it or not, homelessness in Aroostook County is beyond just another problem.
Eyler observed that we all end up shopping at the same stores and we all end up looking the same, but there is a visual difference between rural Maine and what we see here in urban Maine.
You may not see someone wearing multiple coats and pushing a shopping cart, but rest assured that people are struggling to find shelter and wondering where their next meal will come from.
Since 2011, the Homeless Shelter of Aroostook has safely sheltered over 1,000 children and families in the area.
Shelter Operation Costs And Funding
The Homeless Shelter of Aroostook does receive some federal funding in order to help the shelter operate, However, Eyler states that the amount received does not to meet the needs.
For example, Eyler projects heating oil costs for this winter season alone would be about $31,000, not to mention supply's, food and other basics that people need.
Eyler says that when people come to stay at the shelter, the goal is for their stay to be as short as possible because the longer a person or family stay at the shelter, it's harder for them to reintegrate back into society once their stay is over.
Here's How You Can Help
According to Joann White, Community Outreach Coordinator, there are a few different ways you can donate your financial and other resources to the shelter.
- Cash - Drop any amount of cash to 745 Central Dr. P.I., ME 04769
- Online Donation here
- A Wish List with Amazon.com - Click here for the list. Amazon will deliver to the shelter for you
- Buy from the Needs List - You can view items that the shelter needs here
- Check Donation - Mail to Transitional Housing: P.O.Box 1753 1 Midway Dr. P.I., ME 04769
Just remember that the amount you donate today, whether big or small, can go a long way to help staff at the Sister Mary O'Donnell Emergency Homeless Shelter in Presque Isle meet the needs of those who are homeless in The County.