Governor LePage Provides Needed Funds to Non-Profit Community Organizations

July 23, 2015

For Immediate Release: Thursday, July 23, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has allocated State Contingent Account funds to several non-profit organizations, which will benefit thousands of Mainers.

“Every year, I first prioritize any state emergency needs that arise during the beginning of the fiscal year. Toward the end of the year, I designate remaining funds to community programs,” said Governor LePage. “There are so many wonderful non-profits serving the needs of Mainers, which range from food banks to recovery and rehabilitation centers to veterans support organizations. Each is worthy in its own right, and they all provide opportunities and assistance to those in need.”

Each fiscal year, the Legislature appropriates funds to be expended at the direction of the Governor. According to Maine statute, the Governor may allocate from the State Contingent Account amounts not to exceed in total the sum of $300,000 in any fiscal year and not to exceed in total the sum of $4,350,000.

The following is a list of allocations from the State Contingent Account for fiscal year 2015:

Shepherd Godparent Home – $10,000
A registered 501(c)(3) organization in Bangor, the Shepherd’s Godparent Home provides housing, vocational, educational and other support services to young women who are pregnant and in crisis. The support services include counseling, educational opportunities, career development and medical care. Funds will be directed toward construction of an additional transitional apartment unit to serve more residents.

House in the Woods – $20,000
A registered 501(c)(3) organization located in Lee, Maine, House in the Woods offers free outdoor retreat programs for veterans and their families to assist in the journey toward healing the mental and physical pain of loss. The funds will help connect military families to one another and with local sportsmen to experience the recreational, therapeutic and educational properties of Maine’s wilderness and outdoor heritage.

Challenger Learning Center – $30,000
A registered 501(c)(3) organization in Bangor, The Challenger Learning Center provides hands-on educational experiences and simulations in Space and Earth Science for students during the school year and in summer camps to inspire students to seek secondary education and high quality careers. The funds will enable more students to have access to the Center’s STEM education programs.

My Place Teen Center – $50,000
A registered 501(c)(3) organization in Westbrook, My Place Teen Center serves at-risk youth in Cumberland and York Counties. The free program, available year-round, provides teens with a safe haven outside of school while offering academic and life skills support and meals. The funds will aid in the launching of a three-year effort to closely monitor and evaluate the long-term effects of programs on participants, with the goal of applying the results to positively impact more teens.

Highlands Senior Center – $20,000
A registered 501(c)(3) organization, the Maine Highlands Senior Center in Dover-Foxcroft is currently under construction and will provide day services to local senior citizens. The construction involves renovation of the historic Central Hall at an estimated cost of $1.9 million, of which $600,000 remains to be raised. The facility, which will not be a residential facility, will enable social interaction and support for seniors who live at home with their families and will operate using a “medical model” with nurses and medication assistants on staff. The Center anticipates the creation of eight to 10 new positions with the ability to provide daily services for as many as 18 families.

Windham Veterans Center – $10,000
A registered 501(c)(9) organization, the Windham Veterans Association is raising funds to fulfill the vision started by the late association president, Stuart “Toby” Pennels. The Toby’s Dream Campaign seeks to raise funds to complete external renovations and paving at the Windham Veterans Center, to improve visibility and access of the facility from the main road. The association anticipates that the improvements will help increase revenue from renting the center for private events. The increased revenue will enable the association to increase the number of veterans served.

DownEast Magazine – The Art of Giving Gala – $6,000
Six organizations to get $1,000 each: 1) The Locker Project at the Good Shepherd Food Bank, 2) Colby College Museum of Art, 3) North Haven Emergency Medical Services, 4) Maine College of Art Scholarship Fund, 5) the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, 6) Bowdoin College of Art.

Professional Training for Teachers – $7,129
Reimbursement to provide Regional School Unit 50 for the training of two teachers at an out-of-state conference on the subject of dyslexia.

SEALSfit – Supporting Maine Youth – $16,000
The Maine Leadership Institute of Scarborough and the Portland Police Department have designed a program to enhance the self-esteem and personal resilience of our youth, as well as to empower them to build bridges with other culturally diverse youth in their communities. The program, called SEALSfit, combines seminars on topics such as values, leadership and communication along with with physical fitness based team-building drills lead by former Navy SEALS. The program provides an experience and access to resources that youth can build upon to positively impact their communities.

Maine NASCAR Race Car – $15,000
Promotes the State of Maine nationally through a Maine NASCAR race car. These funds were combined with other Department funds to purchase Maine logos and “Open for Business” decals for the car. In addition, a number of events were held at the three races and in Maine.

Mental Health Crisis Intervention Training – $10,000
The Maine Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Maine) provides training and certification on Mental Health First Aid, which helps law enforcement officers and members of the public identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses. In the last year, NAMI Maine has trained and certified 1,200 people in Mental Health First Aid. Training of this nature helps people identify and support those around them who may be contemplating suicide as a result of their mental illness. In addition, this training helps law enforcement officers identify signs of mental illness and provides them with information on how best to interact with people with mental illness. The funds authorized by this financial order will provide training for up to 200 individuals.

Vietnam Veterans – $1,000
The American Legion Post 148 in Windham conducted a series of events honoring Vietnam Veterans on Memorial Day. The observances on Memorial Day 2015 focused on commemorations centered on the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. The funds authorized by this financial order will provide funding assistance in support of events, which include wreath-laying ceremonies and ceremonies honoring Vietnam veterans.

Easter Seals Maine – $10,000
The mission of Easter Seals Maine is to provide exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. This includes the Military and Veterans Services Program which provides critical and timely financial assistance to veterans, service members and their families to ensure dignity, health and overall well-being. The funds will provide assistance for unmet needs of veterans returning from combat and transitioning to civilian life. This funding includes assistance in housing, medical, financial and family support.

Governor’s Summit on Human Trafficking – $25,000
The goal of the Governor’s Summit on Human Trafficking is to create a comprehensive state-wide action plan to combat human trafficking in Maine. Previously entitled “Not Here” conferences, the gatherings included participation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney – District of Maine, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Maine Attorney General office, local district attorneys, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and numerous victim service providers. The conferences have expanded in scope and attendance, requiring transition to a Governor’s Summit. The Governor’s Summit on Human Trafficking will educate attendees on the exploitation of women, identify labor trafficking in Maine, offer sessions focusing on different state locations, develop best practices regarding reporting policies and procedures, and create a state-wide action plan to combat human trafficking.