The birth of the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter occurred in 1990---we had 2 “parents” present when we were delivered into being: The Central Maine Shelter Group and The Waterville Interfaith Council of Churches. The Central Maine Shelter Group was formed in 1987 by a coalition of the local Catholic Churches at the urging of Father Goudreau and later Father Norm Richard. The group was led by David Baird and Joan Philips-Sandy. Joan, acting as the group’s legal council, applied for and received State of Maine and Federal certification as a non-profit, 501-c-3 Corporation. The corporation name was The Central Maine Shelter Group.
Meanwhile, the Waterville Area Interfaith Council of Churches took an active interest in the growing number of people experiencing homelessness approach-ing the local clergy for help with temporary shelter and meals. The leadership for this effort was led by 3 church laymen, George Keller, Arthur Smith and Peter Joseph.
Early in 1990 they solicited a group from the local churches and syna-gogue to create and execute a plan to open a new homeless shelter in the fall. The effort was greatly enhanced when Father Norm Richard offered the Interfaith Council group the use, for a year to a year and a half, of the Notre Dame Parish Life House on Silver Street. The Central Maine Shelter Group then approached George Keller to see if the work they had done to incorporate could be combined with the Interfaith Council group’s effort to make an operational homeless shelter a reality.
By mid fall of 1990 a little more than $4,500 had been raised, 8 beds, bedding and other necessary items had been obtained and 18 volunteers to operate the shelter from 6:00 p.m. to 8 a.m. 7 days a week had been recruited.
The Shelter needed only 2 more issues to be resolved---spot zoning to allow a shelter to locate on Silver Street and an official corporate certification. The Shelter Group asked the Interfaith Council Group to attend their fall Board meeting. During the meeting it was decided to add the Interfaith Council group to the Mid-Maine Shelter Group’s Board of Directors. It was so voted!