ELLSWORTH — Families First Community Center has received a $10,000 Grant from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Castine Opportunity Fund to help finance the Renovation Fund for the new Ellsworth family shelter.
“The Unitarian Universalist Church of Castine has been very generous with us in the past. In October, they honored us with a Pulliam Grant in the amount of $5,000, giving us the last of the money necessary to close on the Home. Now, they have again honored Families First Community Center with $10,000. This generous grant brings FFCC to $20,000 of the $35,000 we are trying to raise for heat pumps in the main house to make the Home more energy efficient. This Opportunity Fund Grant will also grant FFCC another $10,000 when the Home opens this coming spring,” said Dawn Carter Coffin, president of the board of directors.
Families First Community Center will provide housing and educational classes for homeless parents with minor children. “FFCC is especially honored to receive such an outpouring of support from one congregation! Their financial support is a confirmation of our mission to break the cycle of generational poverty,” Coffin added.
The nonprofit FFCC was founded in 2015 when volunteers at a local homeless shelter realized the unique needs of families with minor children were not being met in the long-term. The group raised $130,000 to buy the property at 41 North Street in October. In addition to housing and teaching life skills to six families, the home will provide case managers, mentors, referrals and on-site classes to the County. FFCC plans to renovate the barn to create more living space, a classroom, and a day care center.
“We hope to make the house more energy efficient by not only adding heat pumps, but also solar so we are still looking for money. Solar costs approximately $80,000, but will keep the Home energy efficient forever. We also need volunteer contractors, electricians, plumbers, drywallers, painters, anyone feels they can be handy with a hammer,” said Coffin. Volunteers are needed to help with the renovations this winter.
For more information, to donate funds or materials for the renovations, or to volunteer, you may call 460-3711, mail PO Box 951, Ellsworth, email familiesfirstellsworth@gmail. com or visit www.familiesfirstellsworth.org .
The Opportunity Fund of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine solicited ideas from their members and friends about ways in which they might help not-for-profit organizations who serve people in the area. They then looked at a wide variety of organizations whose mission is compatible with their own. They also held a lovely service and pot-luck lunch to honor the five recipients on Sunday, December 17. Hearing what other not-for-profits are doing was inspirational to all! For more information about UUCC, visit http://uucastine.org/.