Area homeless leave local hotels


Gage Gagnon

The cold November weather creeps in. For some local homeless population, these are their living conditions. Krystal Bechard, Program Associate for ACAP’s Rental Assistance Program says, “How are homeless people going to be able to become proactive members of our society when we constantly shun them?”

Gage Gagnon, Staff writer

On Monday, October 31, homeless people who had been staying in Presque Isle were released from the hotels where they were staying, including the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center and the Crown Park Inn in Caribou. Occupancy at both hotels was funded by the ERA (Emergency Rental Assistance program). There were about 100 residents staying in rooms between these two locations who have since been relocated, and about 20 were still needing housing, according to Krystal Bechard, Program Associate for ACAP’s Rental Assistance Program. When they left the hotels, some found apartments, some transitioned to staying with friends and family, a few are still able to be at the hotels and those who refused help are out in the cold.

For some in the community, this event brought new attention to the homeless crisis. Some were worried. “They may be homeless but they are still people, and this community needs to realize that,” Vincent Sonesath ’26 said. Some see the practical concerns. “We need to find them someplace safe here during the winter time,” Amelia Donovan ’24 said. “And if that means they need to be somewhere warmer, then that would be better, because they can’t be outside during the harsh winters. I do think it’s important they get help.”

As one who works with the transient population, Bechard sees the importance of extending help. “The stigmas based on the transient populations are one of the reasons it is so difficult for those individuals to find housing,” she said. “Not only are they already in a less than pleasant state of mind about their current situation, they are now hesitant to ask for help or resources.”