Town and Country SVP Jon Paradise, left, and Community Engagement Manager Linda Halleran, right, present a contribution to SMAA CEO Megan Walton to help with an elder homelessness issue. Contributed / Town and Country FCU

Town and Country Federal Credit Union recently announced a significant contribution to help Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s (SMAA) new pilot program aimed at combating elder homelessness in York county.

The contribution of $3,500 is to support SMAA’s Elder Homelessness Prevention Program, which is aimed at helping people in York and Cumberland counties find affordable housing.

The program also helps older Mainers find access to resources and support to ensure they are not evicted, and helps them move into long term care facilities if needed.

Part of Town and Country’s overall mission has always been helping local residents, Senior Vice President Jon Paradise told the Courier. To him, that means a lot more than financial services.

“That means quality of life, and that means helping make and keep our communities strong and enriched,” Paradise said. “We think housing is one of those paramount pillars that really define communities, good or bad.”

The amount of people experiencing homelessness in Maine has increased greatly in the last few years, making homelessness and housing instability one of Maine’s biggest issues.


According to Maine Housing’s latest Point in Time count, which counted the number of people experiencing homelessness on the night of Jan. 24, 2023, over 4,200 people are without homes.

Homelessness affects young and old alike.

“I don’t think a lot of people see older people struggling with homes and staying in their houses,” Paradise said. “Wondering if they’re going to be able to stay where they live is top of mind.”

As housing becomes a bigger issue across the state, many towns are beginning to look at how older residents might be able to stay in their homes.

After retirement, without a steady income, it can become difficult for older people to afford the expenses that come with staying at home, Paradise said.

In Kennebunkport, Select Board candidates are grappling with the issue of affordable housing, and in Cumberland, affordable housing projects are being proposed with a certain percent of that housing being reserved for seniors.


“This is an issue that I think is only going to be exacerbated as people age,” Paradise said. “Maine is an older state.”

The contribution from Town and Country will be used to help SMAA financially. It could be used to cover a security deposit or to bridge the gap between a resident qualifying for a program and being able to pay for it.

More importantly, Paradise said, it’s going to provide resources for SMAA to continue working towards finding solutions for elder homelessness.

Megan Walton, CEO of SMAA, said the contribution will provide approximately 70 hours of case management support to help SMAA find or maintain safe, stable housing for older adults.

“This gift will support further partnership work with other senior service providers locally who are working on these issues so that SMAA can be more coordinated and aligned in our efforts to tackle homelessness,” Walton said.

From a financial side, Paradise said Town and Country will continue to work with organizations like SMAA, and plan to look at some of the solutions that might help.

“The gap between affordable housing production and eligible, low-income older adults in need of housing is growing rapidly so this contribution comes at a critical time,” Walton said. “We are grateful for the support from Town and Country.”

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