MaineHousing Awards Lewiston $3.7 Million to Open Temporary Emergency Shelter

in: Press Release on: 03/30/2023

Press Release
Chris Kilmurry, Executive Director
Lewiston Housing Authority 

MaineHousing Awards Lewiston $3.7 Million to Open Temporary Emergency Shelter

LEWISTON, Maine – On March 23, 2023, MaineHousing announced it will award $3.7 million to a coalition of housing and service providers, including Lewiston Housing, Community Concepts, Immigrant Resource Center, and Community Clinical Services, to fund the creation and operation of a temporary emergency shelter for two years, while a location for a permanent shelter can be developed and implemented.

The Center will be located on Lewiston Housing-owned property at 104 Park Street, within the City’s approved Homeless Shelter Overlay District. The Center will provide temporary shelter and wraparound services for individuals experiencing homelessness, with an initial capacity of 25 beds up to a maximum of 37 beds, which is the cap under the shelter ordinance for individuals experiencing homelessness. Services will include case management, service coordination, housing navigation, therapy and counseling, and access to offsite substance abuse disorder treatment.

In accordance with MaineHousing guidelines, plans for the Center must be in place by May 15, 2023, and the Center must be open for service by October 2023.

“Lewiston is Maine’s second largest city, yet we do not have a public, low-barrier emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness. The Lewiston Unhoused Response Center is a temporary solution to help address an urgent need, while Lewiston develops plans and a location for a permanent shelter,” said Chris Kilmurry, Executive Director of Lewiston Housing.

In December 2022, City of Lewiston staff brought together elected officials, including Mayor Sheline and members of City Council, as well as housing and service providers, including Lewiston Housing, to find resources and solutions to homelessness issues in Lewiston, including the need for a temporary warming shelter ahead of impending winter weather. Discussions turned to the need for a long-term solution, and these conversations continued. The City asked the community of service providers to bring forward solutions.

To answer this call to action, in February 2023, a coalition of housing and service providers, including Lewiston Housing, Community Concepts, Immigrant Resource Center, New Beginnings, and Community Clinical Services, responded to MaineHousing’s public invitation to apply for funding for proposals for solutions to address homelessness.

The majority of the $3.7 million will be used to cover two years of operational costs and necessary startup costs, including one-time capital improvements such as showers, bathroom facilities, security systems and laundry. Only a fraction will be used for capital improvements. Once operational, the shelter would be continuously funded by Lewiston Housing’s Moving to Work (MTW) funding, Emergency Shelter and Housing Assistance Program funding, and other grants, foundation support, and donations.

The coalition of providers developing the Center have extensive experience and expertise in providing services to underserved communities, including people experiencing homelessness, domestic violence survivors, and immigrants/refugees. These providers have a proven track record of delivering comprehensive and effective services, such as medical, behavioral, and dental care, housing, case management, outreach, and education/employment support, among others. Their core competencies and resources will be leveraged to support the Lewiston Unhoused Response Center’s day-to-day operations, including intake and assessment, bed assignment, conflict resolution, safety, and communal living issues.

More information is available at

About Lewiston Housing Authority

Created in 1963, Lewiston Housing is the municipal housing authority for the City of Lewiston. We are an experienced developer of affordable housing and have used a variety of financing structures and funding sources to accomplish our goal of expanding access to quality housing for those in need. Currently, Lewiston Housing provides management, maintenance, and resident services for over 500 units of Public Housing, LIHTC, and market rate housing, and administers approximately 1200 Housing Choice vouchers.

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