Having served on the Bread of Life board of directors for the past three years, I was amazed at the constant flow of housing need from members of our community. These are not people that drift into Augusta from afar — 80 percent are from the service area of this great ministry. Along these lines, a mere 10 percent of these people return to Bread of Life in search of need after having been initially sheltered. This is a testament to the good work that is ongoing at the shelter.

Although the above is true, Bread of Life has to turn away about 180 individuals and/or families seeking shelter every year. They have to say no because they are operating at maximum capacity. This means individuals have to turn to sleeping in a car or outdoors. Every month, this includes some of Augusta’s children who attend its schools and swim in its pools. This is unacceptable and Bread of Life is attempting to end the additional pain saying no can cause.

Bread of Life is conducting a capital campaign to fund a shelter expansion that will add carefully planned space to two buildings. With six new beds for individuals and eight new beds in family rooms, the long overdue expansion will allow Bread of Life to never say no again. In addition, a veteran shelter expansion will establish a new handicap-accessible space, an expanded kitchen area, and two additional bedrooms.

Bread of Life receives limited funding from surrounding towns that infrequently send people their way, yet no money is allocated from the Augusta budget for this need despite long-term talk to this end. The capital campaign seeks to solve this troubling situation despite the ongoing talk so they never have to say no again.

Jeremy Pare

Manchester


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