The Buzz: New homeless shelter and new Cumbies opening soon

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This week The Buzz is all ears, helping hands and seeing double.

In the last 15 months, L/A Hearing Center has added four clinicians and this summer it tripled its space from one testing booth and one hearing aid lab to three of each.

Executive Director Stephanie Gelinas said it’s ready to celebrate.

In any business, when mulling an expansion, “you’ve got to really make sure that the need is there, and we feel like it is,” she said.

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L/A Hearing Center, 72 Strawberry Ave., started when Sandcastle Clinical and Educational Services moved to Strawberry Avenue in 2010. While still part of Sandcastle, which works primarily with children, it was given its own name several years ago to convey that it’s an all-ages service, Gelinas said.

The program had just one audiologist until last summer and it has grown steadily since then.

The renovation was a $100,000 project, according to city records. Gelinas said Lavoie Construction took advantage of existing space to build out the additional booths and labs.

It’s holding an open house from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, to show off the new space.

Speaking of new space …

Unity Bible Church of Lewiston has bought the former Common Ties building at 100 Pine St. and it’s getting ready to open a 24-hour homeless shelter for up to 40 men by November.

The shelter will be called “L/A Sheltered by Jesus.” It’s modeled after the “Sheltered by Jesus” shelter in Skowhegan and will allow men to stay day and night, incorporating things like prayer meetings and access to mental health services offered by Common Ties.

The city’s Board of Appeals granted a conditional use permit for the project last month.

Spokesman Michael Hansen said the group is hoping for volunteer help to get the building in shape “before the snow flies.”

Word of the new shelter comes on the heels of the city approving a new 10-bed shelter for women by St. Martin de Porres on Central Avenue.

And now for seeing double.

The new Cumberland Farms on outer Main Street in Lewiston is set to open on Wednesday, according to company officials.

The Cumbies immediately next door at 701 Main St. is for sale to any takers: $235,000 through Malone Commercial Brokers. It’s assessed by the city at $382,800, according to the listing.

Here’s to a swift, interesting new retail addition there.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or kskelton@sunjournal.com

Casey Borstel, a doctoral student and new hire at L/A Hearing Center in Lewiston, demonstrates one of the new hearing labs with receptionist Michelle Pillsbury, seated, on Thursday afternoon.

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