News article from The Forecaster: Mid-Coast heating assistance high on demand, low on supply
It is not quite halfway into the heating season, and already 107 households have requested and received fuel assistance; this is more than 60% of last year’s total of 173 households, comprised of over 450 individuals. Warm Thy Neighbor the local heating assistance program serves Brunswick, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham, Durham, Harpswell, Orrs and Bailey Islands, Lisbon and Lisbon Falls, and Topsham. Donations to the Warm Thy Neighbor have been strong, but the increased demand and high cost of fuel have added pressure to the budget. This is alarming, as other sources of federal and state assistance have come in well below prior year levels, putting greater demand on private sources such Warm Thy Neighbor, a program of Tedford Housing.
Every day, up to seven applicants for assistance meet with staff to share their stories, and to find out if Warm Thy Neighbor can help. Today a son brought his 90 year old mother in to help her apply. They were both so grateful that she does not have to face this next cold snap without enough heat. The son called back after he left just to say “thank you” again. Craig Phillips, Tedford Housing’s Executive Director reports that “some folks have not had heat for several days before they call. Sometimes they have resorted to very unsafe means to try to keep warm, such as keeping the oven on and the door open or using space heaters which can overheat and start a fire. It is vital to help them get back to safe ways to heat their homes and families.”
Nearly 50% of the people who seek services are homeowners, many of whom have never sought assistance before. Elderly people living alone, mothers with small children, and disabled adults make up the majority of those receiving assistance
Private giving is the primary source of funds for Warm Thy Neighbor. Individuals, churches, community groups, service organizations, and businesses provide donations. This support is vital to assuring adequate resources to help struggling households hit hard by the ongoing economic downturn.
If you would like to contact Warm Thy Neighbor about heating assistance for your household, please call Tina at 729-1161, ext.112.
To make a donation, mail to Warm Thy Neighbor, C/o Tedford Housing, P.O. Box 958, Brunswick, Maine 04011.
For more information contact Craig Phillips, Executive Director at 729-1161, ext.102; email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brunswick – Warm Thy Neighbor is an emergency heating assistance fund serving the greater Brunswick area and is managed by Tedford Housing of Brunswick. The 2012-2013 heating season is well under way, to date, having served 69 households including families with small children, elderly individuals, and disabled adults. More than 50 percent of the households are homeowners.
Some 165 households were served from mid-December through April 2012, consisting of 450 people. Over 100 of the families were seeking help for the first time. This was only slightly less than the prior year when 193 households were helped, consisting of 382 individuals. Through enabling people stay in their homes, Warm Thy Neighbor is a simple and cost effective way to fulfill Tedford Housing’s primary mission- the prevention of homelessness.
Warm Thy Neighbor is 100% funded by donations from individuals, churches, and community groups from the Brunswick area. Please consider making a donation to Warm Thy Neighbor, c/o Tedford Housing, P.O. Box 958, Brunswick, Maine.
Tedford Housing recently honored the founder of Warm Thy Neighbor, Sallie Smith of Freeport with the Tedford Home Award for Partners in Ending Homelessness. Sallie is a shining example of neighbors helping neighbors. Our communities are grateful for the single handed effort she has made to establish and nurture Warm Thy Neighbor. Tedford Housing is striving to maintain the service in the spirit which she created.
The reasons why Sallie was moved to begin Warm Thy Neighbor are very compelling. Fuel prices are unpredictable, winter weather in Maine is harsh, many people are out of work or not earning enough to make ends meet. One person who received fuel wrote “Our home and hearts were truly warmed with your kind assistance”.
For more information please call Tedford at 729-1161
The winter of 2011-2012 was another challenging one. The cost of heating oil remained high, staying well over $3.50 a gallon throughout the winter. Combined with the economic downturn it was not surprising that the need for heating assistance remained high. Some 165 households were served from mid-December through April 2012, consisting of 450 people. Over 100 of the families were seeking help for the first time. This was only slightly less than the prior year when 193 households were helped, consisting of 382 individuals. Through enabling people stay in their homes, Warm Thy Neighbor is a simple and cost effective way to fulfill Tedford Housing’s primary mission- the prevention of homelessness.
Tedford is pleased that Warm Thy Neighbor continues to be a strong program. This continuing strength is due to the donors, who have continued to support the program. It is a truly remarkable community resource, a vital component of the network of support in the mid-coast area. Community support has been crucial, especially during these first years of transition from when Sallie Smith ran it to being run as a service of Tedford Housing.
We have been fortunate that Tina Sanders, the Tedford homeless prevention coordinator is excellent. She is organized and efficient. Most importantly, she loves her work and the people that Warm Thy Neighbor assists. They love her in return. She is an excellent successor to Sallie Smith as the face of Warm Thy Neighbor. One of the clients wrote: “I do not know what I would have without the help. It is the first time I have ever asked for anything. You were so nice”
This summer Tedford Housing convened an advisory group to assure that the other aspects of the program run smoothly. Communicating with our communities is an important part of this. The group is made up of Sallie Smith, Bob Beaumont, Bill Bliss, Ed Bradley, Maria Hinteregger and Doug Morrell. They have provided considerable insight into the over-all aspects of Warm Thy Neighbor. They have also given the Tedford staff excellent guidance as to how Warm Thy Neighbor is currently perceived and ideas for improvement.
We hope to have an even better season in 2012-2013. This letter is part of our effort to communicate better. We also hope to use more volunteers, and to raise more money, both of which will enable us to more fully respond to the need in the community and serve more people.
We are grateful to Sallie Smith who saw the need, conceived of Warm Thy Neighbor and brought it to life. Without her there would be many more cold homes in the area. We are excited about being able to continue her work. And we are excited at how perfectly it meshes with the mission of Tedford Housing.
There will be a fund drive for Warm Thy Neighbor in the winter of 2012-13 and we hope that our community of supporters will continue its generosity.
Craig A. Phillips
A post script from Sallie: “I am so excited about the new energy and direction that is with Warm Thy Neighbor…”
Craig A. Phillips has been named as the new Executive Director of Tedford Housing. Barbara Gaul, board secretary and member of the search committee said, “We are thrilled with our decision. We have worked closely with Craig since last fall and have a real appreciation for his strengths and competence. He is solid.”
In November of last year, after Don Kniseley left his position of ten years as Tedford Housing’s Executive Director, the board of directors developed its strategy to find the best possible candidate to fit the attributes identified by the board and the staff. Joel Merry, president of the board, stated,” The not for profit human services business sector has changed significantly, especially for safety net services such as those provided by Tedford Housing. The board sought out a seasoned leader to guide Tedford moving forward as we celebrate 25 years of service to the Mid-Coast and Central Maine communities”
Craig Phillips came to Tedford Housing as Interim Executive Director in October, 2011. A resident of Auburn, and graduate of the University Maine at Orono and Leadership Maine he has had a nearly thirty five year career in the non-profit sector, including serving for twenty five years as the Executive Director at Common Ties Mental Health Services, a multi program agency located in Lewiston, serving adults with mental illness. Throughout his career, Mr. Phillips has been involved in a variety of professional organizations, often in leadership roles, including the Auburn Lewiston Kiwanis Club, and the Maine Association of Mental Health Services.
“I accepted the Interim Executive Director position with the understanding that I would not be a candidate for the permanent position. During the search process, the committee asked me to consider being a candidate for the permanent position. My time at Tedford-getting to know the staff, the people we serve, our partners and supporters, and the communities- convinced me that this is the right place for me. I believe in Tedford Housing’s mission to assist folks in ending the cycle of homelessness by finding safe, affordable and permanent homes. I am very much looking forward to advancing Tedford and its mission.”
On June 27, 2012 Tedford Housing welcomed Donald A. Ladd, M.S.B. as the new Director of Finance. This is a new position for Tedford, and adds a vital component to the Tedford Housing management team. “We are delighted to have someone with Don’s experience and credentials as our first Director of Finance.“ said Joel Merry, President of Tedford Housing’s board of directors.
Don comes to Tedford with nearly thirty years of professional experience in both the for-profit and non- profit sector. He has spent many years in higher education, including eight years as the Dean of Finance and Administration at Southern Maine Community College. He currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at Husson University and Southern New Hampshire University. His position at Tedford Housing is part-time. This allows Don to continue to teach at the college level which he loves. He also maintains consultation practice.
A resident of South Portland, Don is married and has a grown son who lives in Maryland.
Brunswick - Instead of being full of children looking forward to summer break, this Brunswick School Department bus parked in front of Shaw’s Supermarket in Cooks Corner was full of shampoos, soaps, paper towels, tooth paste and all kinds of other personal care supplies. These were bound for the guests at Tedford Housing’s adult and family homeless shelters in Brunswick. Despite the often pouring rain on Saturday, June 2 customers of Shaw’s cheerfully donated bag after bag of goods to help fill the bus.
From 9:00 AM until 3:00 in the afternoon , volunteers from Tedford Housing’s board and staff greeted shoppers as they entered the store, provided them with lists of items needed and asked them drop them off on their way out. “It was great to see families with small children, especially when the girls and boys handed us the bags to go on the bus” said Melinda Small, of Harpswell, Tedford volunteer and board member.
One young man asked “What is going to happen with all these plastic bags?” He was assured that Tedford uses the bags again to provide toothpaste, paper towels, and other items to guests at the homeless shelters. Those that are not used, or are worn out, will be recycled.
The shelters provide emergency housing to adults and families in the mid-coast are who homeless. Tedford Housing also provides housing and support services to adults, families and teens to prevent homelessness and assist formerly homeless people to stay in permanent housing. Affordable housing units in Bath, Brunswick, Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta are among the resources offered by Tedford Housing.
At the end of the day, there was not an empty bench on the bus. This very successful event to help supply homeless individuals and families with necessary personal care items could not have been possible without the support of the Brunswick ??? Rotary Club and Shaw’s Supermarket, and the incredible generosity of Shaw’s customers shopping. The Tedford staff and volunteers who spent their Saturday in the rain talking to customers and working with Shaw’s Associates to load the bus and keep the supplies flowing were crucial to making this event work.
“People are incredibly generous” was heard often and was the theme of the day.
Thank you to everyone who participated. Thank you to, Shaw’s Supermarket, Patty Biggs at Shaw’s, Shaw’s customers and staff, to the Rotary, and to everyone representing Tedford Housing. There will be many happy people as a direct result of filling the bus.
Tedford Housing of Brunswick seeks an Executive Director. For twenty five years, the not- for- profit agency has been involved with initiatives to end homelessness in the Mid-Coast Maine region, Lewiston, Auburn, and Augusta.
The mission of Tedford Housing is critical to the quality of life for families, youth and adults who experience homelessness and is strongly supported by the communities and individuals of the region.
An energetic and seasoned leader will possess excellent communication and collaboration skills with both internal and external stakeholders to guide and inform the strategic direction of the agency.
Tedford seeks a director with strong skills and experience in the areas of finance, fundraising, marketing, and human resource management. The director will work closely with the staff and board to integrate agency services into a cohesive program based upon strong not for profit and homelessness program standards.
Grant and foundation application preparation, developing and supporting a team environment, understanding the use of technology to advance the effectiveness and efficiency of agency operations, and effective decision making are important skills for the successful candidate.
The candidate shall have a four year degree in human services or related field, with a Master’s Degree preferred, and shall have five or more years of experience in a senior leadership position. A competitive salary and benefits package is offered commensurate with knowledge, skills, and experience.
Initial consideration will be given to applications arriving no later than June 8. The position will remain open until filled. Please submit a cover letter describing your interest and background in the position, resume, and three professional references by email to…
Interim Executive Director
Tedford Housing has been awarded a 2-year contract with MaineHousing to provide homeless prevention and re-housing services to households in Sagadahoc and Lincoln Counties and the town of Brunswick. The program focuses on assisting individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness and those who are homeless and in need of minimal, temporary assistance to obtain housing. See our Program page for more information.
The Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP) has named Tedford Housing as one of the 2008 recipient of the Dirigo Award for Nonprofit Excellence.
The award is given to organizations that demonstrate management and outcome excellence in several areas of performance including governance, financial management, communications, strategic partnerships, and fund raising.
Tedford Housing submitted an application that displayed their ability to innovate and adapt in a difficult funding environment. The organization changed its mission in 2003, which shifted their focus from providing shelter to ending homelessness, and they have undergone a positive transformation over the six years since. They have implemented successful supportive housing and homeless prevention programs, diversified funding sources, and greatly enhanced community outreach and strategic alliances with other similarly-aligned organizations. Here are a few highlights from their application:
- Tedford has worked hard to diversify funding sources in order to secure their future viability. They devote significant time to developing their individual donor program and annual fund donations; they collect rent from their supportive housing facilities, generating significant earned income; and they completed a successful capital campaign that raised over $800,000.
- Tedford operationalizes their mission of advocacy for constituents by being a part of key coalitions and partnerships, reexamining their current relationships, and seeking new partnerships that are suggested during strategic planning sessions. They host a chapter of Homeless Voices for Justice, a consumer-led advocacy organization, and participate in the Statewide Homeless Council. They seek strategic partners for all of their programs, and have created strong relationships with the chamber of commerce, neighborhood organizations, and many other nonprofits and businesses.
- Tedford has used MANP’s Guiding Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence in Maine to greatly improve their organizational practices, policies and strategy. They are a great example of a learning organization.