CAMDEN — Through Camden National Bank’s Hope@Home program, the bank has generated over $385,000 in unrestricted funding to fifty shelters through Maine. Since 2015, for every new home financed at Camden National Bank, the bank donates $100 to a local shelter in the community of the new homeowner. Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, a Hope@Home beneficiary, has now received over $20,000, which they’ve allocated mostly toward programs focused on addressing youth homelessness.
“We’re experiencing an increase in homeless youth in our community,” said Karyn Bournival, interim executive director of Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter. “Our Youth Empowerment program started in 2017 to address a pressing need. There are currently 12 participants who are working on transitioning to permanent housing, enrolling in college, pursuing higher education and/or entering the workforce, and we know we could serve more.”
“This is the longest I’ve lived permanently in my life,” said Tiffani, a program participant. After experiencing a mental health crisis and withdrawing from college, Tiffani found herself homeless and did not know where to go until she moved into the YES Program, a permanent supported housing program for formerly homeless youth. During that time, she was provided with case management, housing and career navigation services. Less than a year later, she’s employed, leasing her own apartment and is re-enrolled in school.
While the shelter’s youth program has had much success, a growing demand for its services highlights a strong need for additional funding to support homeless youth in Central Maine. “We could easily expand the program and impact 50 additional at-risk youth if we had the space,” said Bournival. “Young adults are the highest rising age group in homelessness.”
Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter receives only 25% of needed operational funding from federal sources, so it is reliant upon donor partners like Camden National Bank to fund the remaining 75% of its budget.
“Hope@Home works to raise awareness for the prevalent problem of homelessness in Maine, while also directly supporting the organizations and staff at the forefront of providing help,” said Greg Dufour, president & CEO of Camden National Bank. “We believe that every dollar donated is making a measurable difference to change the lives of individuals and families in our communities.”
To learn more about Camden National Bank’s Hope@Home program, please visit camdennational.com.