FY 2018 Annual Report
Download a printable version of the 2018 annual report. For previous annual reports and additional financial information, visit our Guidestar profile.
Letter from the President
2018 was a pivotal year for Tedford Housing. Our programs experienced challenges and opportunities in several areas. Continued lack of affordable housing resulted in increased length of stays for many of our adult and family shelter guests. We experienced a rise in health-compromised guests at our adult shelter, partly due to the increased aging population we find ourselves serving.
As a result, we reached out to the medical community and have plans for a local forum to develop strategies for a more robust and coordinated response to the growing health care, aging and homelessness issues. We also embraced and implemented a best practice strategy, in collaboration with Sweetser, to create the Long Term Stayers Initiative of Southern Midcoast. Between February and June of 2018, 6 households that were homeless for 180 days or more were housed through this initiative.
In fiscal year 2018, Tedford Housing also turned away 354 individuals and 228 families – neighbors who come to us for help. Our individual and family shelters continue to be in need of costly renovations. With a clear mission and a great commitment to those experiencing homelessness, Tedford Housing was set to undertake a capital campaign to build the new resource center this time last year.
As the campaign was in its formative stage, land was identified for purchase only to learn that no zoning ordinance existed for “shelters” in Brunswick (though two shelters exist). As a result, the capital campaign initiatives were placed on hold.
From financial stability to serving the most vulnerable, Tedford Housing continues its important work in the community. The zoning ordinance work continues, and the capital campaign remains on hold.
Undeterred, and strongly committed, the Tedford Housing board remains strong in its commitment to enhancing its services as it creates pathways from homelessness to home by partnering with people in their communities in Midcoast Maine.
“Marie”: A Tedford Success Story
It took a long time for her to make the decision, but Marie knew her only option was to leave. She was in a toxic relationship, and it wasn’t safe for her or her two kids anymore. She couldn’t stay in the house because it wasn’t hers.
She called Tedford Housing and talked with Bev, the case manager for the family shelter. She had stayed at the family shelter a few years before while in the process of her first divorce.
Without immediate availability in the family shelter and no real family support, Marie left her children with various friends and relatives for two months as she slept in her car at night. She was overjoyed when an apartment in the shelter opened up and her kids could be with her once again. She didn’t have to answer the question, “Mom, where are you?”
Once in the family shelter, Marie “jammed.” She followed all the rules, completed all the paperwork and applications put in front of her and followed through with her goals with the help and support of Tedford staff. She was in a place where the people really cared for her.
When a Housing Choice voucher opened up through MaineHousing, she was picked as a recipient because of her hard work. She was in the family shelter for a little over two months before she moved into an apartment she could call her own. She kept working at the job she was employed at for the past 4 years. They never knew she was homeless.
As difficult as her situation was, Marie doesn’t want her story to be seen as a “pity party.” Though she remains anonymous as a safety precaution, she wants her story to be shared and seen as a success. She sees the time in her car and in the family shelter as a “bump in the road.” Bev and Pauline, Tedford’s homeless prevention case manager who works with Marie now, helped build her confidence and keep her faith. She hopes others in similar situations will find ways to do the same.
As Marie sat in her apartment with her youngest playing by her feet, she talked of utilizing the self-sufficiency program she has access to through her voucher. She has plans to go to college, fix her credit and work towards a down payment for a house.
“Homelessness doesn’t define you, it’s just a circumstance,” says Marie. “It’s all in how you handle it.”