Braydin’s 10-year-old sister, Summer, says, “When we became homeless, we kept moving back and forth from city to city and motel to motel. It was really stressful. Here, you have your own bed. And my mom can save money because she’s not paying up to $400 a week for a room in a motel.”

The coalition’s team of 26 has helped hundreds of families into independent housing and currently has 281 clients — all homeless people in our community.

Executive Director Stephanie Primm says, “We have a 90-95% success rate of sustainable independence for those families who remain engaged in our program of care. This program works because it provides caring relationships with trained staff over a sustained period, allowing client confidence to build and barriers to independence to fall away one layer at a time.” 

All summer, Marion Waters and Lynn Wildnayer have hosted Wednesday barbecues on the shelter’s bucolic grounds on Old County Road in Rockport — festooned with sunflowers and clay garden ornaments made by the kids. Both past and current residents congregate at the picnic tables, soothing concerns, offering to watch each other’s kids and, if someone owns a precious car, provide rides.

The children — almost 80 have passed through the doors since the shelter opened under new management four years ago — play on the jungle gym donated by CedarWorks.

Primm says, “As we near the end of our fiscal year, we must meet our fund-raising goals of an additional $175,000. Can 1,000 people give $100 to help Braydin keep swinging forward? Can 100 people give $1,000?  How about 2,000 people giving $50?

“Our state’s welcoming sign reads: Maine. The way life should be. 

“I would add to that, ‘for all.’ Because Braydin, and the hundreds of children and families in our care, also deserves a hot meal, a day at the beach, a smile at least twice a day and, most important, hope for a better future. Please help us make it so.”

For more information or to schedule a 

visit, email or call 593-8151.  

To donate, visit or mail a check to Knox County Homeless Coalition, P.O. Box 1696, Rockland ME 04841.