WATERVILLE — Betty Palmer, longtime executive director of the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter, who saw the facility through its move six years ago from Ticonic Street to the new $2.9 million shelter on Colby Street, has resigned.

A press release from the shelter’s Board of Directors, dated Friday, says the board accepted the resignation of Palmer, who helped shepherd the shelter through a major expansion of both the physical space and of the programs offered. “We are very appreciative of Betty’s dedication and years of service,” Board President Sandy Myers said in the release. “We are now looking forward to the future of our continued work to reduce and eliminate homelessness in our community.”

A phone call and Facebook message placed Monday morning to Palmer, who had served as executive director about eight years, were not returned by early afternoon.

The release says the shelter has retained DocExecutive management consultants “to use this opportunity to refine and hone the policies and procedures of the shelter with a goal toward operating as effectively and efficiently as possible.” The shelter’s finance director, Karyn Bournival, is serving as interim director, it says.

Contacted by phone Monday, Myers said she could not say anything more about Palmer’s resignation than what was in the release.

The shelter at 19 Colby St. currently has 45 guests as well as more than a dozen people living in its 12-unit Youth Empowerment Services apartments on the second floor, according to Myers.


The shelter operates on a budget of about $1 million a year and employs 27 full- and part-time staff, she said.

About 25 percent of the shelter’s funding comes from federal and state programs and the rest is from fundraising, donations and events, she said.

The shelter hopes to hire a new executive director before the end of the year, according to Myers.

“We’re very stable right now,” she said. “Everything’s been working without any hiccups, and the board’s very engaged and very involved. We want the right candidate.”

The shelter has in-house case managers who develop action plans for guests to help them find stable housing and avoid homelessness in the future, according to the shelter’s website. The plan focuses on 12 areas of their lives including housing, financial stability, education, family and children, transportation, safety planning, social, employment, legal, mental health, domestic violence support and substance abuse.

Doug Cutchin, who has been a member of the shelter’s board of directors since the shelter was established in 1990 and is a former co-chairman of the board, said Palmer took the shelter to a whole new level during her tenure.


“She did a great job of getting the shelter moved from Ticonic Street and our new programs expanded on Colby Circle,” Cutchin said Monday.

He praised the work of the shelter and the many people who have staffed and supported it.

“It’s a great service to the community,” he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247


Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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