I am writing in response to the Jan. 10 article in The Times Record, titled “Residents ‘overwhelmingly’ oppose new homeless shelter in their neighborhood.” After reading it, I would like to clarify Tedford Housing’s plan for a new facility and programming.
Tedford Housing’s current plan, subject to the final Brunswick zoning ordinance amendment process and other considerations, proposes to build one facility to serve both individuals and families. The facility would replace our current emergency housing facilities, which would be sold or converted into other residential uses and no longer be run by Tedford Housing. The plan is not, and never has been, to construct a third facility.
The plan proposes a new facility to serve a total of 28 adults and 12 families, modestly serving a portion of the 354 individuals and 228 families we were unable to serve this past fiscal year.
Though a number of statements have been made recognizing the need to address homelessness in the area during this zoning process, I do not agree with the statement that “…the town is going to have many places in which it is going to be possible for people to develop facilities to address this need.”
The end result of this process will be to provide Tedford Housing and other potential providers with conditionally permitted zoning districts in town on which to site a facility. Further, current zoning descriptions and density are anticipated to further limit potential zoning districts.
Finally, Tedford Housing receives a great deal of support from Brunswick and adjoining communities. Though the zoning amendment process is about the ordinance and not a specific provider, Tedford has always sought to be, and is, a good neighbor. The proposed design for case management services linked with emergency housing beds provides this area with a proven model assisting people move from homelessness to home.
This comprehensive approach will result in the reduced risk of homelessness in the Brunswick area community, a faster return to housing stability for youth, adults and families, healthier households and increased self-sufficiency.