The following article was published in The Times Record on 7/13/18
If you ask people in the Brunswick community about what Tedford does, many respond that we provide a shelter for people that are homeless. In fact, many people still call our organization Tedford Shelter, referring to our adult shelter on Cumberland Street. (We changed our name to Tedford Housing in 2006 in recognition of the organization’s evolution to include permanent supportive housing and homeless prevention services. Of course, we also have a family shelter in Brunswick as well.)
On a given day in June, we took a count of how many lives Tedford touched in a single day. This exercise provides a more comprehensive view of the role that Tedford plays as being the organization that delivers comprehensive services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless in southern Midcoast Maine.
We first looked at our emergency shelters for adults and families which serves those who meet the definition of being literally homeless (living in cars, on the streets or in places unfit for human habitation). The adult shelter provided beds for 16 individuals, including 12 men and 4 women. Our family shelter provided safe and temporary housing for 6 families which included 23 family members. In addition, Tedford Housing case managers assisted 13 families and 1 individual (a total of 35 family members) who were homeless and unsheltered in our community through homeless prevention outreach services.
That’s a total of 74 people Tedford served in the Brunswick community who were literally homeless. (And, yes, that’s a technical term in housing.)
Next, we counted those individuals and families receiving what we call follow-up stability case management services. These “stability” clients have been housed by our case managers after a period of being homeless. Our case managers “follow” these clients for up to a year to help make sure they are able to maintain housing. On this day in June, stability services were provided to 13 individuals and another 6 families, which included 15 family members. On the same day, our homeless prevention program provided security deposits and other assistance to 12 households, with 27 family members, who were at risk of becoming homeless.
Still counting? Those numbers get us up to 129 people served by Tedford Housing on this day in June with homeless prevention and emergency shelter services.
Our Merrymeeting Project for homeless youth provided case management and direct services to 32 homeless and unaccompanied youth in the Brunswick, RSU1 and SAD75 school districts. Though school is now over, these services are provided year round to help ensure continuity of education and stability for these youth.
Adding our youngest clients brings us up to 161 individuals being served by Tedford on any one given day.
Next, we look at our most stable clients in our supportive housing units in Bath, Brunswick, Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta. These apartments for individuals and families provide a home, complete with on-site case management support, to 64 individuals and family members. As an extension of our supportive housing in the Lewiston / Auburn area, we also counted 9 literally homeless persons being served through our outreach case management. An additional 8 household members received stability services in the area.
While the impact of providing overnight emergency shelter to 39 individuals and family members can’t be over stated, the numbers above reveal the full range of services Tedford Housing delivers every day through its case managers, shelter staff, administrative support and dedicated volunteers.
On this day in June, collectively, 242 persons who were either experiencing homelessness, at risk, or striving to maintain stability after having emerged from homelessness, were connected to Tedford Housing’s programs. All of our programs work together towards a common goal, to provide pathways to stable homes and futures for our neighbors who have experienced homelessness in the Southern Midcoast.