Angela Berry looks through racks of free clothes Wednesday at Kaydenz Kitchen in Lewiston. “I am all by myself again and pretty much don’t have anything,” said Berry, who has lived on the streets for over six years. “I’m looking for stuff to keep me warm.” Kaydenz Kitchen is a place where those in need can pick up free clothes, food and toiletries. “We try to provide for the community as best as we can,” said operations manager Jeffrey Glover. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — City officials selected the nonprofit Kaydenz Kitchen to run a warming center at Calvary United Methodist Church on Sabattus Street in Lewiston, a day after the Auburn City Council voted to fund a proposal from the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine.

After the Lewiston council was faced with presentations from both organizations, the vote was unanimous in favor of Kaydenz Kitchen, a nonprofit food pantry at 550 Lisbon St. in Lewiston, based on councilor support for the lower cost estimate and a greater emphasis on security.

Some said that given the concerns with last year’s warming center, another organization should be given the chance to operate it.

Calvary United Methodist Church at 59 Sabattus St. in Lewiston, seen Monday, is being proposed for an overnight warming shelter. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Others supported the Immigrant Resource Center proposal because, if approved, the operation could begin as soon as Wednesday. The warming center is only expected to run until April 5.

Kevin Boilard, director of Kaydenz Kitchen, said his organization could begin Feb. 12, however, it’s unclear how the timeline will move forward now that the two cities have approved funding for different operators.

It’s also unclear if the cost breakdown between Lewiston and Auburn would be amended.


On Monday, Auburn approved appropriating $89,306 toward the Immigrant Resource Center proposal, a number based on negotiations with Lewiston officials, who were slated to fund the remaining $98,223 — for a total of $187,529.

The Kaydenz Kitchen proposal, however, was for a total expense of $125,200. Some Lewiston councilors raised hopes that Auburn would keep its original appropriation of $89,000.

Auburn City Manager Phil Crowell said that if Lewiston voted to support an alternative proposal, the Auburn council would need to reconsider the project and amend its previous order.

Auburn Mayor Jeff Harmon said Wednesday that he and councilors have some questions on the Kaydenz Kitchen proposal, like they did with the IRC plan, and are working to schedule a special meeting.

“We don’t have any preference; for us it’s really about what’s the level of services provided and how we work cooperatively with Lewiston,” he said regarding the proposals.

When asked about the cost breakdown, he said, “I would expect there’s likely to be discussion by the council about the cost apportionment.”


Harmon said the Auburn council had received the initial Kaydenz Kitchen proposal by Monday, but due to notice requirements it was not in time to be considered by the council that night.

He said he watched the Lewiston council meeting Tuesday and agrees with several councilors who said the two cities need to forward more permanent solutions to the homelessness crisis, including more timely action on coordinating warming centers.

During the Tuesday meeting, Lewiston Councilor David Chittim said the council should be discussing the winter warming center in June rather than waiting until February.

Jeffrey Glover hands Micheal James a free pillowcase Wednesday at Kaydenz Kitchen in Lewiston. Glover is the operations manager for Kaydenz Kitchen, a place where those in need can pick up free clothes, food and toiletries. “We try to provide for the community as best as we can,” said Glover. “I have been high and I have been low,” said James. “Places like this (Kaydenz Kitchen) keep my hopes up.” Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Nancy Craig, director of Calvary’s City Mission program, said Tuesday that it’s “shameless” that a metropolitan area the size of Lewiston and Auburn does not have a 24-hour homeless shelter. Because the Calvary warming center is not technically a shelter, they are not allowed to provide beds.

“In my mind the main problem is that for many years Lewiston and Auburn have had an attitude that we don’t have a homeless problem,” she said. “People are pointing to the fact that ‘we don’t want to become another Portland.’ We will become another Portland, because there’s no end to the root causes of homelessness. Those need to be addressed.”

The Kaydenz Kitchen proposal argues that last year’s program “created a significant amount of community concerns around how these types of programs operate.”


“We believe this is an opportunity to build back confidence in the community surrounding these programs,” it states.

The proposal includes a constant police presence on site.

Asked about last year, which Immigrant Resource Center operated along with Community Concepts, Immigrant Resource Center Executive Director Fatuma Hussein acknowledged issues, but said, “We learned a lot, and feel like we’re better suited this year.”

She also pointed out that IRC was the only organization to step up last year when no one else wanted the job.

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