Shelter Programs Inc. housing assistance.

Anyone facing homelessness can contact Shelter Programs Inc. for information. They can help, either through direct financial aid or counseling, tenants facing eviction or homeowners that are under the threat of a foreclosure. In addition to helping with housing, the agency provides other services in the greater York County Maine region.

Any financial support will come in the form of either applications to government grants, such as Emergency Food and Shelter, or there is also some money raised from the community that can be used for partial rent payments. However, this type of financial support is very limited and comes with restrictions, and only a small number of people can be assisted. Others will be referred to either York County social services or non-profits in the area, including the town of Kennebunk.

Shelter Programs Inc. also focuses on coordinating both short term housing, such as emergency shelters, as well as assistance in finding Permanent Housing in the region. These can be either for families facing imminent eviction or those from the community that are just looking for an affordable, long term apartment or home to live in.

Other services are also available from the non-profit. They can refer low income residents to food pantries, provide support services to senior citizens, and are a source of information on public assistance in Maine. Homeowners that are behind on their mortgage are linked to HUD approved non-profits for free foreclosure counseling. So Shelter Programs has many resources for the disadvantaged.

Tenants that are facing a temporary economic crisis that is beyond their control can look into Eviction Prevention services. Examples of what may qualify include a short term loss of employment, change in household composition such as death of a spouse, disability or medical emergency, delay of some form of public benefit, or illegal action by a landlord.

When found qualified, there may be some money available to help pay a portion of rent. This can also include grants for paying rent from federal and state of Maine programs. Another part of this is landlord and tenant mediation to try to have the parties involved find a solution.




Using government funds, the Emergency Food and Shelter service can provide low income families facing a crisis with both grants for rental expenses and other basic needs. This can even help with a mortgage payment in some cases. Key partners of this service in York County are Shelter Programs Inc., the United Way, and other groups. The goal is to keep families fed and housed.

Emergency Shelters in York County are tailored for specific groups. There are sites for parents or guardians with minor children, including single moms. Other shelters are for veterans, men, or women who are pregnant in last trimester.

Though Shelter Programs Inc. or any agency cannot meet the overwhelming need for shelter, they do the most they can. Guests of the shelter will also be given free meals as well as long term case management services. When the sites are full, in some cases there are motel vouchers available. These may help pay for a night or two of lodging, but this is very rare.

The objective of any resources from the non-profit is to eventually get the individual into Permanent Housing. This will usually involve a process that starts with shelter and then leads to transitional housing. Only if the client has show the willingness, and the ability, to gain stability will the process continue on. Applicants must meet program guidelines and other conditions.

Services available in York County include, but are not limited to, security deposit as well as first month rental assistance. This will help with the move in costs. As noted, all of this is offered with ongoing case management. Shelter Programs Inc. guidelines allow participants to look for low income apartments in the region. Other resources as part of permanent housing include ongoing tenancy support.

Supportive Housing is for the disabled as well as seniors. Other clients may be survivors of domestic violence. This component really stresses stability of the tenant. For those enrolled, they may receive access to funds for certain living expenses, as well as the use of local clinics and other programs to help prevent a recurrence of homelessness.




No matter what an individual is enrolled in, staff also offer guidance. This can come in the form of personal development coaching. This is offered on a one-on-one basis, and it too issued to tackle any challenges that the tenant is facing.

For more information, Shelter Programs Inc. is on Shaker Hill Road in Alfred Maine. The phone number is (207) 324-1137.


By Jon McNamara

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