This year, the Knox County Homeless Coalition (KCHC) celebrates its eighth year serving the Midcoast. As a birthday gift to the community, a generous donor offered to match the first $500,000 in donations received by KCHC this calendar year.

Earlier this week, KCHC announced the goal has been reached.

“Thanks to the support of donors, friends, and partners, we met the $500,000 match,” Caroline Morong, KCHC board chair said. “This represents a solid step forward, and we are grateful to the community. And, we still have a long way to go to meet our annual operating budget of $4.5 million, 60% of which is raised through private donations. The continued generosity of the community is essential as we work together to build a more equitable and sustainable future in the Midcoast.”

Over the last eight years, KCHC has provided more than 76,000 nights of life-saving shelter, served more than 2,300 people seeking stable housing, and helped house more than 1,000 individuals. This year alone, KCHC is supporting 800 individuals — youth, families, single adults, and the elderly — with safe shelter, compassionate care, education and skill-building support, and housing solutions.

“Affordable housing continues to be harder and harder — almost impossible — to find in the Midcoast,” Molly Feeney, KCHC director of social services, said. “As a result, urgent and emergent needs continue to be on the rise. We are distributing unprecedented quantities of food and water, sleeping bags, and tents right now. KCHC is committed to meeting community members with grace and understanding, while offering these life-saving resources. Our work requires patience, compassion, and teamwork, and we are grateful to be part of this collaborative community effort to weather these challenging times.”

KCHC is also working with state and local partners to develop two innovative affordable housing neighborhoods, one in Rockland and one in Rockport, that will provide 31 new units of housing for more than 75 people. The anticipated move-in date for the first residents is late 2023.

“Kindness, teamwork, and innovation are especially important right now,” Morong said. “We invite everyone to join us as we work together to support and strengthen our Midcoast community.”

To learn more about the Knox County Homeless Coalition, visit homehelphope.org or contact Becca Gildred, director of development, at 207-593-8151.