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2000 Best Practice Awards

Best of the Best Winner: Maine

Best Practice: Bayview Heights Community Collaborative

Facilitated Living Home Meets Senior Needs

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

Photo of Robin Keller receiving award from Secretary Cuomo & Deputy Secretary Ramirez
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 children’s 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 annually.

To successfully replicate this project:

  • Meet with community agencies when renovating an existing building to brainstorm ways to use all the space effectively and efficiently.
  • Work with your architect to best use the space.
  • 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)

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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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