A Bangor property that served as a boarding dwelling for girls for greater than 130 years will quickly develop into the eleventh residence for a company that provides housing for individuals recovering from habit.
Recent Begin Sober Dwelling bought the King’s Daughters House at 89 Ohio St. for an undisclosed quantity on July 1. The constructing will develop into “Andrew’s Home,” named for Recent Begin Sober Dwelling’s first resident, Andrew Chalila, who died in November 2021, mentioned Scott Pardy, Recent Begin’s founder.
Although the boarding dwelling’s sale means the top of a supply of inexpensive housing for girls, it expands the world’s housing inventory for individuals in restoration. Even with the addition, nevertheless, Pardy mentioned he’s persevering with to search for extra sober dwelling residences. He doesn’t know if he’ll ever meet the demand as Maine’s opioid habit disaster has worsened lately, and Penobscot County has seen a disproportionate share of the state’s overdose deaths.
“I’m positive there’s a saturation level, however I don’t know what that’s but,” Pardy mentioned. “We’ll preserve doing what we will till we will’t do it anymore.”
The brand new location provides 10 to 13 beds, bringing the group’s housing capability to 85 individuals throughout its 11 places, 9 in Bangor and two in Brewer, Pardy mentioned.
The King’s Daughters House approached Pardy about shopping for the house after years of struggling to fill it and preserve it afloat.
“Within the early years, there could be a whole bunch of ladies that stayed yearly,” mentioned Linda Allen, president of the King’s Daughters House managing board. “In more moderen years, we in all probability had 25 to 30 ladies yearly, however at our lowest, we had possibly 4 or 5 residents in a 12 months.”
When Allen joined the board within the Nineteen Eighties, she mentioned 14 ladies lived within the dwelling, and there was a waitlist to maneuver in. In current many years, most residents had been college students from native faculties or ladies simply starting their careers.
Simply two ladies lived within the dwelling over the previous 12 months, Allen mentioned. Just one, a nursing scholar, lived there on the time of the sale.
“The mission of the house has develop into out of date, and we felt this was the appropriate time to think about different methods to assist ladies,” Allen mentioned.
Recent Begin Sober Dwelling was an interesting subsequent proprietor as a result of the house is ready up for communal dwelling, Allen mentioned. The King’s Daughters House can be subsequent door to Recent Begin Sober Dwelling’s first location, which opened in October 2018.
The King’s Daughters House was based in 1891 in a rented home at 35 Columbia St. It was managed by ladies from all 14 church buildings in Bangor.
The house had only one resident when it opened, however that quickly ballooned and the residence moved to a brand new home at 18 Center St. in February 1894. Throughout its first 4 years, 500 women and girls stayed on the dwelling, some for under an evening and others for durations as much as a 12 months, in accordance with the group’s web site.
The house moved its last location at 89 Ohio St., donated by Thomas Upham Coe, in 1905.
Pardy mentioned he jumped on the likelihood to buy the house as a result of he knew it was already organized for communal dwelling and was properly maintained. The 1865 Victorian dwelling additionally has a big kitchen and front room the place Pardy plans to host vacation celebrations for residents.
“Not everyone has a spot to go on Thanksgiving and Christmas,” he mentioned.
Most Recent Begin Sober Dwelling residents have a non-public bed room, although there are some doubles. Pardy mentioned residents can keep for so long as they need, and a few have been with the group since its inception. On common, residents keep for 9 months to a 12 months, Pardy mentioned, although some don’t final every week.
Recent Begin’s rooms are normally full, and Pardy receives 5 to twenty housing functions per week. He has a backlog of a whole bunch of individuals searching for housing.
Pardy, who’s in long-term restoration himself, based Recent Begin Sober Dwelling in 2018 after volunteering at the Penobscot County Jail, the place he oversaw restoration conferences. He watched the identical handful of individuals attempt to keep up their sobriety, he mentioned, however after they had been launched from jail, they’d wind up on the streets as a result of they didn’t have a protected place to stay.
They’d wind up in jail once more quickly sufficient, and the cycle would proceed, Pardy mentioned. The revolving door pissed off him, so Pardy started Recent Begin Sober Dwelling to assist these in restoration keep sober and provides them someplace protected to remain.
Now that the King’s Daughters House property has modified arms, Allen mentioned the group is exploring methods to proceed serving ladies within the Bangor space that don’t contain offering housing. The group might set up a fund on the Maine Neighborhood Basis with the proceeds from the sale and the rest of their endowment.
“At this level, there’s nobody providing the identical sort of service in Bangor,” she mentioned. “Girls must rely extra on residence or college dormitory dwelling, which might be costlier.”