BANGOR, Maine, Sept. 9— In an extension of the services it offers at Hope House, a low-barrier shelter for people experiencing homelessness, Penobscot Community Health Care has consolidated its response to the pandemic and will now manage and offer shelter services and support at the Ramada Inn on Odlin Road. In an arrangement with the state of Maine, the entire facility is now leased for this purpose, with half the facility dedicated to COVID-free rooms, and another isolated part of the facility dedicated to COVID-positive and persons under investigation for COVID-19. PCHC has increased the number of personnel on-site to ensure safety and proper supports are in place.
Some guests of Hope House have been accommodated at the Ramada and other hotels in the area, in an effort to provide appropriate social distancing and other public-health precautions. Leasing the entire hotel through the end of the year will offer more accommodations against the onset of cold and damp weather conditions and amid concern about a potential “second wave” or spike of the coronavirus causing COVID-19, PCHC officials said. It will also allow the community health center to provide more robust management at the site. For example, to further prevent community spread of coronavirus, no outside visitors will be permitted at the hotel.
“This new arrangement offers us the flexibility to get back to serving the same number of people in need that we were able to serve prior to the onset of the pandemic,” said PCHC President and CEO Lori Dwyer. “Because the pandemic triggered decreases in the census at all the area shelters to ensure proper physical distancing, this solution gives us the opportunity to get those beds back into the community. By securing the entire facility, we will be better able to foster a safe environment while continuing to link our guests with needed services, we’ve worked closely with the City of Bangor to get to this good solution, and we’re so grateful for the support of the city, the property owner, and other stakeholders.”
MaineHousing has signed a lease with the property owner for the coming month with the option to renew each month following. The state is also contracting with PCHC to provide management and services at the facility.
The services include housing navigators, who work with clients to find housing and then continue to support clients in the community for a year after they exit from homelessness.
Hope House operates a shelter, transitional housing, and an integrated care clinic offering both medical and mental health services at 179 Corporate Drive in Bangor.
About Penobscot Community Health Care
Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) is a non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) founded in 1997 to ensure access to comprehensive, integrated primary health care services for all to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and the Maine communities served. Seventeen practices and program service sites in the Bangor area, and in Belfast and Jackman, offer a wide range of services, including family medicine, dental, pediatrics, geriatrics, mental health, medication-assisted treatment and substance use disorder services, urgent/walk-in care services, as well as specialty services such as speech, audiology and chiropractic services, retail and primary care pharmacy, and healthcare for the homeless. Online at www.pchc.com.
Contact: Kate Carlisle | 703-589-8605 (m) 207-404-8014 (o) | firstname.lastname@example.org