Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Letter to the editor
We appreciate your thoughtful opinion expressed about the closing of the Halcyon House Emergency Shelter for Youth ("Loss of shelter will be costly in different way," Sept. 10). The shelter has been a safe place for hundreds of youths for more than 30 years and has been a focus of fundraising efforts over those decades.
The shelter's operational losses were challenging historically and speak to the challenges experienced by all shelters in the state.
The agency that operated Halcyon House prior to 2012 -- the year KBH began running the shelter -- also found shelter losses impossible to absorb, especially after it lost federal-grant funding in 2011.
As the shelter's new operator, KBH immediately reapplied for federal support in 2012 but we were unable to recapture it. That lack of ongoing support, more than the small cuts in reimbursement funding from the Maine State Housing Authority, was the difference maker.
Hundreds of adults have appreciated the youth shelter, too. Many dropped in with food, clothing, books, DVDs, athletic gear and other gifts for the youth. We are grateful to everyone who wanted health and happiness for those youth.
Thomas J. McAdam
Chief executive officer
Kennebec Behavioral Health