Digital rendering of the Tedford Housing shelter building that will be built on Thomas Point Road in Brunswick. Contributed / Tedford Housing

A recent $500,000 donation “is a huge step” toward Tedford Housing’s goal of building a 17,568-square-foot homeless shelter on Thomas Point Road in Brunswick, according to interim Executive Director Andrew Lardie.

Members of the Mid Coast-Parkview Health and LincolnHealth Community Health Improvement Committee voted unanimously to make the hefty donation, bringing the fundraising campaign so far to within about $4 million of the $8.3 million goal.

Health organizations support Tedford Housing’s plan because they know “housing is healthcare,” Lardie said. “They know that the critical quality of life care they provide depends on people being housed.

The proposed shelter would greatly expand Tedford’s capacity to shelter the unhoused and provide support services. It would be located on the northeast side of Thomas Point Road in Brunswick and have separate, secure wings for both adult and family emergency housing as well as administrative and case management space.

Tedford outgrew our existing facilities a long time ago,” Lardie said.

As the need for shelter space grows, he said, Tedford has struggled to keep up.


We turn away between 85-90% of people who come to us for shelter,” he said.

Lack of affordable housing in Brunswick is feeding the increase in the number of people seeking emergency shelter, said Tedford’s Director of Operations Giff Jamison. People who are unhoused are unable to access the housing market.

The biggest challenge is that they just absolutely wouldn’t be able to afford the rents,” Jamison said.

He also said that in some cases, landlords have refused to accept subsidies, making access even more difficult.

In addition to people who are currently unhoused, Lardie said, many in the area and across the state are at a consistent risk of losing their housing. “They’re making hard choices between heat, rent, food, medical expenses,” he said. “There’s a need for construction across the state.”

The influx of asylum seekers expected in Brunswick this summer has the potential to put further demands on Tedford Housing’s services, Jamison and Lardie said.


“New Mainers have been coming to Brunswick for a while, but we haven’t experienced homelessness from that community” Jamison said, “but in the last couple weeks we’ve had a number of requests for housing from that community.”

With full shelters in Portland and encampments being cleared out, more unhoused people and asylum seekers “are getting pushed toward other areas,” he said. “If they perceive Brunswick as being a welcoming place, and I think it is, they’ll try to go there.

Tedford hopes to start construction on the new shelter in 2024.

“Tedford’s been working since the late 1980s in buildings that have needed a lot of upkeep,” Jamison said. “They’ve sheltered a lot of people over the years, but they’re in ongoing need of repair and we really welcome the opportunity to move into a clean building that’s designed to provide shelter to people in need.

“We’re looking forward to the project, and I think it will be a major factor in this area to reduce homelessness,” he said.

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