A view from Main Street in Mars Hill on May 27, 2021. Credit: Melissa Lizotte / The Star-Herald

MARS HILL, Maine — Aroostook County will be getting its first homeless shelter for youth in March.

The Northern Lighthouse has received a grant to build Aroostook County’s first homeless shelter for youth at 14 Main St. in Mars Hill. There are only three other shelters in Maine that serve youth, located in Bangor, Portland and Lewiston, which means the closest resource for Aroostook is more than 140 miles away. The construction of the Mars Hill shelter will make it easier for youth who are homeless in The County’s home to get help.

The $200,000 federal renewable grant is from the Family and Youth Services Bureau.

The shelter will begin with four beds, but anticipates to grow with the need. The property has a residential facility for children, and received an addition to allow for more office spaces. That addition is being repurposed to allow for additional services for youth.

“Our goal is to be a resource in the community,” said Blake Hatt, Northern Lighthouse chief operations officer. “We want to partner with other organizations to ensure that these kids have resources and people to help them build natural supports and find stable housing.”  

The project is at the mercy of the supply chain, but the goal is to have the facility open between the middle and end of March, Hatt said.

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David DiMinno

David grew up in New York, and moved to Maine to study political science at the University of Maine. In his spare time, he loves hiking, playing tennis and skiing.