BANGOR — The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter’s warming center will be opening soon in the city.
For the third year in a row, the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter will be providing a warming center for those without shelter as the weather becomes colder.
Last year the warming center was opened in mid November however this year city officials asked Boyd Kronholm, the shelter’s executive director, to open the warming center on Nov. 3.
“The city really asked us due to the increase of unsheltered community members who were experiencing homelessness. Part of that is maybe due to COVID-19, we’re not really sure but this year there seems to be more people who are outside and not in the shelters,” Kronholm said.
He said funding for the warming center comes from the city, Maine State Housing, Hannaford’s and Hope for Homeless.
“It costs us somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000 to run it and we’re somewhere in the ball park of around $40,000 to $45,000 right now. We’ll continue to fundraise and write grants and we’re hoping to be able to keep this open until the end of March,” Kronholm said.
Due to COVID-19, Kronholm added that the number of open spots in the center will go down from 40 to 26.
“We’re going to open at 6:30 at night and we’re going to be open until 5:30 in the morning. People can come in, get warm, we’ll have some type of a hot meal for them and also some other services if they need it,” Kronholm said.
He said the shelters ability to host those who need the warming center is extremely important because it is a life-saving asset for the city.
“On very cold nights outside, this is Bangor Maine, so people die. People die of exposure so this is a place for them to come in, even if it’s only for a little while or for the whole night or whatever but to able to be warm and be out of the elements,” Kronholm said.