Spotlight Blog

ABOVE  Young volunteers helped deliver veggies and sweet snacks to the Healthy Acadia Overnight Warming Center. Healthy Acadia photo

Healthy Acadia: Keeping People Safe and Warm

In Ellsworth, Maine, where low winter temperatures average well-below freezing, Healthy Acadia operates an Overnight Warming Center from mid-November through April for unhoused and unsafely housed community members. Staff and volunteers offer meals and snacks in a safe space maintained for up to 20 guests to rest in warmth every night of the week, holidays included.

A Genesis partner, Healthy Acadia is a nonprofit community health coalition that ensures urgent community health resources and services are delivered in Washington and Hancock counties as well as other Maine communities.

Supporting continuing operation of the warming center, which is located inside Healthy Acadia’s INSPIRE Recovery and Community Center at 24 Church Street, is one reason Genesis recognized the importance of making a $112,000 loan to Healthy Acadia last fall. The loan became part of Healthy Acadia’s financing to buy a commercial building in Ellsworth to centralize its administration and locate multiple programs and activities in one place, including programs that expand food security and support healthy and active lifestyles for all ages.

“By helping us establish a stable, convenient location for operations as well as community health programming, financing from Genesis broadly supports the Overnight Warming Center as well as our other programs,” said Elsie Flemings, Healthy Acadia executive director. “As Healthy Acadia works to meet the high-priority community health needs we identify with local residents and leaders, our Genesis loan will have critical and wide-ranging impact.”