York Country Shelter Programs - Shaker Hill, Alfred, Maine

The York County Shelters, a new member of the Green Alliance, was the first homeless shelter in Maine to use solar energy and a wood boiler to save on energy costs.

ReVision Energy is happy to welcome York County Shelters as they join the Green Alliance through a new non-profit scholarship fund.

The fund pays for 100% of the membership dues for the green business organization, recognizing the value that nonprofits bring to the community.

Jim Cavan writes:

The YCSP became the first recipient of the GA’s newly-launched Sustainable Commerce Scholarship. [Green Alliance director Sarah] Brown says the goal of the new program will be to raise money from existing Business Partners and community members in order to support local non-profits on the scholarship.

“It’s another way for us to give back, and we hope to be able to do it on a fairly regular basis,” says Brown. “We know there are a lot of incredible organizations out there who would be wonderful additions to our organization, so hopefully this provides a way to make that happen.”

Initially launched in 1980 as the York County Alcoholism Shelter, the YCSP has since grown to include a five-building, 74 bed main campus in Alfred, which houses both families and individuals and features a bakery, barn-set gymnasium, classroom and dining commons. Additionally, the main campus provides services ranging from family counseling to substance abuse programs and vocational training, helping hundreds of people every year in their often arduous transitions from homelessness to self sufficiency.

Additionally, the group owns over 30 transitional housing units throughout the York County region, as well as an additional 5 homes rendered green – EnergyStar appliances, solar panels and efficient insulation being just a few of the features – before being offered to qualifying families and individuals.

Leading the “green” efforts of the York County Shelters is a trio of renewable energy systems installed by ReVision Energy on their main building on Shaker Hill, Alfred: a robust solar hot water system, 4kw of solar electric panels, and a wood boiler.

The shelter made news by being the first shelter in Maine to integrate the cost of renewable energy systems into its building designs. The additional upfront costs are justified as these systems will offer long term savings on their energy usage while at the same time offsetting a thousands of pounds of c02 emissions each year.

In a 2009 Press Herald article David Beseda, the shelter’s housing director said “‘We wanted to make this building sustainable for decades to come. We can keep people in housing for a longer term by making it more affordable.”

We’re excited to see the shelter continuing to grow, and support them in their important work of empowering the homeless in Southern Maine.

See More Photos in Our Schools and Nonprofits Solar Photo Gallery:

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