Brunswick, Maine. Volunteers of America National Office, the local Volunteers
of America Northern New England affiliate, HUD, and local government and
nonprofit agencies partnered to develop a 202 project in Portland,
Maine. The project creates more than just housing for low-income seniors,
but also directly impacts on their health, socialization, and economic status.
The collaborative purchased and renovated
an existing building, which had two kitchens and a bakery center. In evaluating
the space available in the building, the collaborative realized that it
did not have adequate staff
Robin Keller receiving Best of the Best award
from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
and other resources to operate these facilities.
The collaborative formed a partnership with a nonprofit agency that
provides training in food service to at-risk young adults and provides food
for Headstart and local childrens programs. The agency moved its entire
operation to the 202 site and now provides meals for the seniors in exchange
for their use of the kitchens and basement storage space. The collaborative
also formed a partnership with a soup kitchen that trains homeless individuals
in culinary arts and sells soup at the local public market. In exchange
for the space, the soup kitchen provides soup for the seniors. By creatively
thinking about maximizing the space, the collaborative is benefiting from
kitchen staff not on their payroll, providing food free of cost to residents,
and assisting two local organizations in accomplishing their missions in
a more cost-effective manner. In addition, the seniors participate in the
graduation ceremonies for both programs. The collaborative also works with
the local elementary school by bringing students in to play games,
do arts and crafts, and interact with the seniors.
By working with local agencies who do not
work directly with seniors but have other services to offer, the collaborative
creatively combined the strengths of each agency and diminished the weaknesses
to provide a higher quality of life for low-income elderly residents.
The total meals served to date would have cost the collaborative $20,161
To successfully replicate this project:
- Meet with community agencies when renovating
an existing building to brainstorm ways to use all the space effectively
- Work with your architect to best use the
- Meet with agencies providing training programs
to discuss how they could also use your site.
Contact: June Koegel, Phone: (207) 373-1140
Tracking Number: 2261
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)