Hospitality House to reopen under new leadership
Rockport — Ownership of Mid-Coast Hospitality House, the area's only homeless shelter which closed in November without warning, transferred to the Maine State Housing Authority Jan. 18.
The Housing Authority is in negotiations with New Hope for Women and the Knox County Homeless Coalition to set up a lease agreement for the shelter and get it up and running again, according to Deborah Turcotte of the Housing Authority.
"This is part of our mission," Turcotte said. "There is a need for a homeless shelter in that area."
She noted that an existing shelter organization, such as New Hope, must take over operation of the shelter because the state has a moratorium on funding for new homeless shelter beds. Although New Hope will run the shelter, it will be open to both homeless men and women and will be separate from New Hope's other operations.
Turcotte said the hope is to have the lease signed in the next few weeks, but added no date has been set for the reopening of the shelter.
The shelter has 15 beds. The state reimburses it for each night a homeless person stays in one of the beds.
New on-site staff will be hired to operate the shelter. It was operated by Samantha and Gordon Mank Jr. until November when the nonprofit organization running the shelter dissolved.
The following organizations are part of the Knox County Homeless Coalition:
New Hope for Women
Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry
Knox Interfaith Teen Safe Havens
The Career Center
St. Bernard's Soup Kitchen
The Congregational Church in Rockland
The Congregational Church in Camden
Home Counselors Inc.
Rockland District Nursing
Harbor Family Services
University of Maine
News Editor Daniel Dunkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @DanDunkle.