LEWISTON — Faith formation students at Prince of Peace Parish recently learned about the struggles and challenges facing homeless teens in Maine and quickly decided to do something about it.

Janice Lara-Hewey from Catholic Charities Maine’s PATH program spoke to the students about homelessness and its impact on their community. PATH (Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) is a program designed to actively seek out homeless individuals and connect them with available services, helping people find a “path” out of homelessness and toward greater connections within their communities.

“She pointed out to the group that in rural and smaller cities in Maine, like Lewiston and Auburn, it is sometimes difficult to realize that there is a problem because you don’t see that particular population on the streets like you might in a big city,” said Bill Wood of Catholic Charities Maine. “Parents and students asked how they could help.”

More than 20 students helped gather items and packed around 80 care kits, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, toiletries, and other personal items for homeless teens at New Beginnings.

Since 1980, New Beginnings has served runaway and homeless youth by offering a variety of services, including a shelter, a transitional living program, an outreach program, a drop-in center and mental health assistance. The organization helps children as young as 12 to individuals in their late teens.

FMI, donate: 207-795-4077, newbeginmaine.org.

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