Homelessness in Maine is increasing. LD 48, a bill to help create shelters, has been dead in the community for over a year.

There are four shelters in the Oxford County area. The nearest shelter to Bethel is Rumford, and South Paris.

There needs to be a shelter specifically for teenagers who are struggling to stay in school and be successful. When a teenager is living a difficult home life, they don’t have an option to leave. A teen homeless shelter in Bethel would benefit from this in so many ways and could impact so many lives.

The housing market in the Bethel area is too high for most families, let alone a teen working and going to school. Affordability is a major problem, even with the food pantries and the giving closets.

I hope this brings awareness to this issue. Let’s work together and make something happen.

Violet Howe, Newry

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