A nonprofit agency in Bangor that supports children and families struggling with emotional, behavioral and substance use challenges is closing in the next few weeks, even though it had planned a ribbon cutting on the city’s only emergency shelter for families early next month.
The agency, Families and Children Together, is terminating all its services by May 31 “due to lack of funding and resources,” Executive Director Beverly Daniels said in a news release.
The statement did not provide more information about the funding challenges, and Daniels did not respond to follow-up questions. A spokesman for the group said that no representatives would be available for an interview Thursday.
According to the group’s tax filings that are available through 2017 on the website ProPublica, it has generally had annual operating expenses between $1.5 million and $1.8 million in recent years, along with revenues between $1.6 million and $1.9 million. The organization had been in the black through 2017, those records show.
In the 2017 fiscal year, the bulk of its proceeds came from either contributions and grants, or revenue from its programs. It received $879,989 in government grants and $110,911 in other contributions that year, along with $688,032 from MaineCare, the state’s version of Medicaid.
About half of its expenses were to compensate its employees.
In October 2018, the group opened an emergency shelter in Bangor for families that have lost their housing. Family members needing emergency shelter in Bangor are often split between different shelters.
Last summer, city officials approved a zoning change the organization needed to open the shelter at the corner of Elm and Somerset streets, and earlier this month, the agency announced that it would hold an open house at the shelter May 10. Families and Children Together has owned the house since 2016, according to property records.
The facility is Bangor’s only shelter for families who are experiencing homelessness, according to the group. Before it opened, the city had not had another such shelter in more than a decade. The shelter, with space for two families, was funded through grants, private donors and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
But on Monday, the group’s board of directors voted to end all of its services.
Families and Children Together has a contract from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to help families that provide treatment foster care, an advanced type of foster care for children who have experienced trauma in life and require special interventions. According to the agency’s website, it provides 24-hour support and compensation to those families.
Maine DHHS spokeswoman Jackie Farwell said the state agency “will work with these foster families and children to ensure they maintain access to services through this transition.”
The organization also helps facilitate adoptions, offers housing for people with intellectual disabilities and provides prenatal care to women with substance use challenges, among other services.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly reported that the Families and Children Together emergency shelter for families had not yet opened. It opened last fall, but the group planned a ribbon cutting for early next month.