History of the Bangor Area Shelter

The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter (BAHS) opened on Christmas Eve, 1986 as a 12-bed overnight facility. Developed primarily by several members of the Hammond Street Congregational Church and primarily managed by volunteers, the Shelter was intended to be a short-term "hand up" for homeless folks from Greater Bangor. A focus was families and single moms, with a goal of helping reduce demand on the City's shelter.

As of our 25th anniversary in September 2010, BAHS had become a 38-bed shelter staffed by 15 paid professionals. We are now open 24 hours every day and provide many services in addition to overnight safety. These include a soup kitchen, emergency food pantry, a safe place for guests of the Shelter and others at risk of homelessness to socialize and meet with caseworkers, formal information and referral services, therapeutic groups, and easy access to medical and mental health services. We have also developed permanent housing (Cedarview Efficiencies) for six previously and chronically homeless adults.


12/24/86 Shelter opens
Director hired
1987 Law re:SOS & MSHA
IATF formed
1994 No kids
1995 Day program
Hope House (ARC) – Greater Bangor Area Shelter collaborate
First Hike for the Homeless
1/26/96 Dennis Marble hired as Shelter Director
1996 Program Manager position added
1997 United Way Member Agency
Additional support for case management via HUD funds and partnership with CHCS
Begin lobbying in Augusta for better public policy
1998 Formal Day program begins
Continue lobbying with Maine Coalition for the Homeless
Greater Bangor Area Shelter changes its name to The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter
1999 Shelter staff increases to 9
2000 Shelter staff increases to 10.5
Governor's Sub Cabinet on Homelessness
More agencies seek homeless funding
Advocacy efforts result in more state funding
More agencies funded results in minimal net gain
2001 Plan to end homelessness
GPCOC gets "formal"
2002 Statewide homeless council
2003 Budget hits $400,000
2004 Shelter staff increases to 12
Cedarview Efficiencies opens
Medicaid payments
PCHC clinic
2005 Visioning Retreat
Mary-Ann Chalila dies
Shawn Yardley hired as Director at City of Bangor Health and Community Services
2006 Shelter full each night for last 8 months
Strong Board
2008 Vision changed to emphasize community
2010 15th Annual Hike for the Homeless over $50k raised
BRLI involved in annual hike planning