Since I was hired in January of ’96 approximately 10,000 individuals and families have come to this Shelter seeking help with a range of needs. During these 18+ years there have been a number of big events on a broad scale which have impacted these people and, in some cases, led to their becoming homeless. These events have included the “deinstitutionalization movement” of the ‘70’s and ‘80’s (with consequences still being witnessed today), the recent “Great Recession,” the federal Sequester, the huge increase in treatment through pharmacology, and recent reductions in the State of Maine’s providing of access to health care for many people who are homeless, many of our senior citizens, and other people living in real poverty.
I am writing this blog in an effort to describe the view from 263 Main Street in Bangor, and to try to further humanize and give some voice to the thousands of people who have come here in need and also frame issues as they affect the broader community. I am not a professional writer. I am trying to produce brief essays that will at least convey the nuts and bolts of issues or a simple glimpse of a few human beings, and some of the consequences of the “big issues” that land on them. I hope you find these posts engaging, or at the very least, not boring.