June 28, 2023
The Town of Bucksport in partnership with Hancock County Habitat for Humanity and Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition (BBHCC) launches a pilot Senior Safety & Accessibility Home Repair Program for Bucksport residents on July 1st, 2023.
Town Manager, Sue Lessard states: “This partnership is a positive step forward in assisting our seniors with safety and accessibility improvements that can enable them to stay in their own homes – and which provides a method of connecting them in a one-stop-shopping way to other programs and services that are available. We look forward to the positive impacts that this plan can have in our community.”
The Bucksport Town Council recently approved the use of $15,000 in ARPA funds for 2023-2024 to purchase materials and support home safety and accessibility. This one-year pilot program aims to complete 20 to 30 basic home repair projects (between $500 - $1,000) that improve safety and accessibility for residents age 60 or over who reside in Bucksport, meet income eligibility requirements, and go through a successful site assessment by the Habitat for Humanity Construction Manager. Once eligibility requirements are met, Habitat for Humanity will conduct a site assessment. Participating individuals will also have the option to enroll in the Thrive program (formerly Thriving in Place) to get access to local resources for active living, nutrition and fitness, home safety, finances, communication, legal and healthcare needs.
The town of Bucksport is located in Hancock County and 18.5% of the population is over the age of 65. The Town has a long history of supporting the needs of older adults in our community. The Bucksport Area Senior Center, a program of the town of Bucksport, opened in early 1991. The town collaborated with the Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition to conduct a community health assessment in 1998. Coalition volunteers assessed needs from the youngest to the oldest citizens, which included recommendations on housing, transportation, and health services. These were incorporated in the town’s comprehensive plan. Additionally, a Senior Resource Committee was formed (now called the Age and Ability-Friendly Committee) to assist in implementing the recommendations of the plan that impacted older adults. Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition is a 501 c (3) that offers many programs serving adults in Bucksport, Orland, Verona Island, and Prospect.
Sherry Billings of Hancock County Habitat for Humanity sates: “We are excited to begin this project to help some of our most vulnerable citizens be able to safely age at home. We know that safe affordable housing and good health outcomes are closely aligned and we believe this partnership with the BBHCC enables the Bucksport community to take a multipronged approach to addressing the varied needs of our senior neighbors. The Habitat model relies on using some volunteer labor to reduce costs. HCHH has been operating in Hancock County as a 501C3 since 1989 with a mission of building quality housing for economically disadvantaged individuals and that this is a pilot program that we hope to replicate with other municipalities in the future.”
Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to contact HCHH at email@example.com.
For those interested in participating in the home repair program, visit BBHCC’s website to check eligibility requirements and complete an online interest form or call 207-469-6682.