JONESPORT – Sixteen full time jobs and a place for seniors to live near home could be coming to a Washington County town if they can open an assisted living facility.
“It’s a huge need in this community, there’s no place for our aging population to go,” said William Milliken, president of Arnold Memorial Medical Building Society, the nonprofit behind the project.
Jonesport community members have been trying to get the lights back on after the Sunrise Care Facility abruptly closed in the summer of 2018.
Not only did people lose their jobs, but some living there had to move as far away as Ellsworth.
“Many of them, they were near their loves ones, that was comforting, it was a more healthy place to be and it was a wonderful facility,” said Milliken.
Now a local nonprofit called the Arnold Memorial Medical Building Society has taken over the building, looking to reopen it as a 24 bed assisted living facility.
Project leaders said a need for a facility like this is so great that even thought they don’t have an opening date yet, they already have 12 people on a waiting list.
Carol Davis helped out at the former facility since she was 9 years old, and her mother once lived there. She’s now on the town committee to get the place back open.
“It’s been a part of my life and it is so sad to see the empty rooms,” said Davis.
When the Down East Community Hospital pulled out, they sold some furniture and a wheelchair accessible van the nonprofit now has to purchase.
They also still have to update the fire alarm and sprinkler system.
“It’s been a community effort really, we had a public supper last week we raised $10,000,” said Milliken.
Project leaders said since this facility will be assisted living, not a nursing home, it has lower operating costs. And MaineCare reps have crunched numbers and told them it would be sustainable.
“Before she left she said this is going to be a success,” said Davis of one of the state officials who visited the facility to give them recommendations. “And I have felt it from the beginning and I still feel it.”
Project leaders said if they can raise $120,000 the new Sunrise Adult Family Care Home could open in as early as 60 days.
A link to a GoFundMe to make a tax deductible donation can be found here .