More in Featured
New Hope awaiting funding
RUMFORD/MEXICO- With the increasing demand for safe housing for the area’s aging and developmentally disabled, Hope Association has submitted an application for a grant to help fund the construction of a New Hope residence, which will replace the current New Hope home in Mexico.
Fundraising began years ago under the direction of Joe Sirois and the past board of directors, seeing that one day they would have to replace the former Hope Training School, which now houses four.
Hope Association worked to gather letters of support throughout the community and stepped up to show they were passionate about their efforts. It will be up to 12 weeks before they know if they will be awarded the grant money.
The Hope Training School, originally purchased in 1963, was a place to educate and train children with mental disabilities. The school opened on September 3, 1963.
That home is now very expensive to maintain, the floors are uneven, all the bedrooms are upstairs, causing hazards for the residents, and the interior of the house is not handicapped accessible.
To date, funds that have been earmarked for the construction of the new home total approximately $100,000. The cost of the new home has been estimated to cost nearly $400,000 and construction is slated to begin in the spring.
“People with disabilities are unique,” stated Catherine Johnson, Executive Director of Hope Association. “One of our goals is to promote aging in place. Nursing homes aren’t the best place for them. It can be frustrating for the resident as well as the nurse staff who haven’t had the opportunity to be properly trained. The residents are of a younger generation who don’t want to be in a nursing home.”
“With state guidelines becoming more strict,” stated Johnson. “We’re running the risk of not being in safety compliance with that home especially as people age.”
The new home will be situated on five acres of land located on Highland Terrace across from Mountain Valley Middle School. “John Durland has been extremely accommodating to us by working with us to acquire this land,” stated Johnson. “With five acres to build on, it’s close to the ITS snowmobile trail and our residents will be thrilled with that.”
The four bedroom, two bath, full basement, handicapped accessible home, will have a meeting room available for public events and Johnson hopes to be able to demonstrate more of their mission of being Partners in Community by making that space available for use.
The best case scenario for New Hope, is that they will break ground in the spring, with or without the grant. Johnson stated that they will increase fundraising efforts if needed. Funding for the home once it’s built will also come from state payment for staffing, as each resident pays for room/board, heat, electricity and food.
“We’re a very frugal organization,” stated Johnson. “We buy in bulk, bid our services that we’re in need of, all so we can get the best cost for all our needs. Security, health and safety are all priorities to us and to be able to provide this to our residents will be priceless.
If you’re interested in supporting New Hope construction, please send your donations to Hope Association, 85 Lincoln Ave., Rumford, Maine 04276. Please be sure to note on your check, NEW HOPE FUNDS.