“In rural places, the number one cause of homelessness is generational poverty,” said Dawn Coffin, the head of the nonprofit Families First Community Center, which plans to open a transition house for homeless families this year. A Stroud Fund grant will help with renovations of the home. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DAVID ROZA

Families First gets Stroud grant



ELLSWORTH — The Families First Community Center has received a $10,000 Outreach Fund Grant from The Stroud Fund to help finance the renovation of their home.

“This generous grant from The Stroud Fund will go a long way to ensuring that the Families First Community Center can make the needed renovations to the home they are preparing to purchase in Ellsworth. This home will house and educate homeless parents with minor children,” said Dawn Carter Coffin, president of the board of directors.

“The number one cause of homelessness in Hancock County is generational poverty, which affects multiple generations. Parents need help with life skills so they can be self-sufficient. The National Council to End Homelessness highly recommends homes that teach life skills and offer referrals, education, medical and safety planning.” The center is currently raising the money for needed renovations.

With this grant, Families First Community Center now has $40,000 of the $130,000 needed for the renovations.

The nonprofit Families First Community Center was founded in 2015 with a mission to break the cycle of homelessness before it is passed down to the next generation. It equips families with minor children with the housing and skills they need to gain self-sufficiency. Residents will be required to work 40 hours per week towards this goal. The home opening is planned for late 2017. For information, to donate funds or materials, or to volunteer, call 460-3711; mail P.O. Box 951, Ellsworth, ME 04605; email [email protected]; or visit www.familiesfirstellsworth.org.

The Stroud Fund is made possible through the generosity of Dr. Morris W. Stroud III, who established a permanent outreach fund in 1990. Income from this fund is disbursed for community needs and projects by the Stroud committee. Applications are welcomed from individuals and groups and are processed on a quarterly basis. The fund distributes approximately $32,000 a year. For more information, visit St. Mary & St. Jude at www.maryjude.org/outreach.html.

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