BANGOR – Hundreds of people walked through Bangor on a brisk morning to raise money for the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.
“Those who are without homes don’t get to choose the weather and we don’t either, so it’s great to be out here,” said David Casavant, the board president of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.
The 24th annual Hike for the Homeless is the shelter’s biggest fundraiser all year.
This time, the route looked a little different, starting at the Bangor Waterfront, traveling up Main Street to Broad Street, and ending back at the Bangor Waterfront.
“So that really allows us to come together as a group and a community, and really speak with one voice for purposes of ending homelessness,” said Casavant.
While the weather may be starting to warm up, the shelter’s executive director, Boyd Kronholm, said they’re busy as always.
With two thirds of their funding coming from events like Saturday morning’s, the money from the Hike for the Homeless goes to everything from paying shelter staff to keeping the lights on.
“Anyone could be homeless at any time. These are our friends, our neighbors, our cousins, our relatives, so it really reaches – it touches almost everybody in our community,” said Kronholm.
That community support was in full force on Saturday.
Participants brought in funds through raffles, T-shirt sales, and registration fees.
Some walking teams brought as many as 70 people for the cause.
“We’re representing Maine Job Solutions, so we’re kind of doing it as a team,” said Garrick Shurn, participating in the event.
“We work with a lot of people that need to have maybe a little assistance, so we’re here to try and give back,” said Amanda Flanders, also with Maine Job Solutions.
Organizers said the two and a half mile walk doesn’t just raise money, but also awareness, and hopefully a bright future for those in need in Bangor.
“Our vision is to transition guests to stable houses within 30 days, so that’s where all this money goes,” said Casavant.
The fundraising goal was $40,000.