CHERRYFIELD, ME — July of this year marked the end of a remarkable Downeast housing program involving Downeast Community Partners, Mano en Mano, Sunrise Economic Council, The Community Caring Collaborative, and Maine Seacoast Mission. The five nonprofits were tasked with awarding $10K grants to Downeast residents to use either as down payment on a first home or for rehabilitation on an existing home.
The opportunity for this housing assist to Downeast residents was through an equally remarkable anonymous $500K donation to, as Mission Housing Rehabilitation Manager Scott Shaw explains, “assist with housing issues Downeast.”
The five nonprofits agreed to turn $400K into forty $10K housing grants, with $100K reserved for administering the Housing Barrier Removal Fund.
Scott Shaw was part of the selection committee grading grant applications. He said, “Clients who received the down payment assistance were required to meet with financial coach Joe Connors through Downeast Community Partners.” Mano En Mano held the funds and hired Elan Gabel-Richards to facilitate the process.
Grant application responses were graded in three areas:
Feasibility – How likely is the applicant to reach their goal in one year?
Impact – How does reaching the goal impact the lives of the people affected? How many people will be affected?
Leverage – How much are other resources leveraged to reach the applicant’s goal?
All forty grants were awarded in three rounds. Ten grants were awarded in January, twenty in May, and ten in July. Twenty-four grants were given for down payment assistance, sixteen for home repair projects.
As of September 16, five grantees had purchased homes. A sixth grantee is under contract on a piece of land for their mobile home. One home repair project is completed; ten projects are underway.
Awardees have up to a year to expend the funds for their projects.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Mission Housing Rehabilitation Manager Scott Shaw tells us, “The Housing Rehab Friends and Families Program is underway. I have been visiting homes and following up on projects as we order materials for them.”
The friends and family element is a response to 2020’s Covid restrictions. Normally, the Mission Housing Rehabilitation Program has the help of many volunteers. With most volunteers unable to help with the 2020 work because of Covid restrictions, the Mission developed the friends and family model.
Homeowners can still apply for help repairing their homes. Scott Shaw will still review those homes to assess work and materials needed. Applicants with family/friends able to do the work on their homes, with Scott’s supervision, are provided the materials and, if needed, guidance.
Scott Shaw said of the homes pictured here, “These homes will be weatherized by our partners Downeast Community Partners after the work is completed.”
Learn more about the Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Program.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — On July 30, Downeast Campus Facilities Manager Scott Shaw wrote, “We just hosted the overnight Island Fellows Retreat at the Weald Bethel Community Center! It feels great to have the building in use again and the group thoroughly enjoyed their stay,” said Scott.
According to the Island Institute, “The Island Institute’s Island Fellows Program is one of the signature programs of the Island Institute. Fellowships provide opportunity for recent graduates to apply their skills and gain experience helping to build sustainability within communities whose way of life and identity face many challenges.”
“The Fellows were treated to a team building and ropes course element thanks to Isaac Marnik and the group also helped clean up some of our trail system while here,” said Scott Shaw.
Learn more about the Weald Bethel Community Center activities.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — I am the Downeast Campus Facilities Manager and the Housing Rehabilitation Manager, and I joined the Mission in 2003.
The older housing stock in Washington County has always been challenging for families to maintain. With the help of hundreds of amazing volunteers every normal, non-Covid year, we assist with needed repairs so families can rest assured their homes are safe. I have been lucky enough to be a part of this work, and to see the tremendous difference it makes to our community.
My favorite place — besides enjoying my family — would be out on my bike exploring areas of the State I’ve never seen. Maine is a large, beautiful State and there are so many endless backroads and vistas to enjoy. I call the ride “wind therapy” — and it truly is. Maine will always hold a very special place in my heart.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Downeast Campus Facilities and Housing Rehabilitation Manager Scott Shaw sends exciting news of one of the Mission’s best loved, most often used, buildings.
“Here are pics of the original Weald Bethel Chapel part of the current Weald Bethel Community Center getting a new roof. The other Community Center sections are new. This new roof assures the structure is sound for many years to come,” writes Scott Shaw.
Learn more about the Weald Bethel Community Center.
It’s Thank you Thursday. Today’s shout out of Mission love goes to Scott Berry.
“As a volunteer and supporter, Scott Berry has been a driving force in the success of Maine Seacoast Mission’s Housing Rehab Program.” said Scott Shaw, Manager of the Mission’s Housing Rehab Program. “Scott and his team from South Portland have made an incredible difference in the lives of many of our Downeast Maine neighbors through countless years, days, and hours of construction projects he’s been involved with.
“Scott has a heart of gold. He always brings a team spirit and willingness to take on any project we provide. The Mission, and the folks Scott Berry has helped live in safe homes, want to send a huge thank you. Although we can’t be together this year, we look forward to a reunion with Scott and his team next year,” said Manager Scott Shaw.