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Bangor group looks to help homeless during COVID-19

Help for Homeless is stepping up its efforts to help unsheltered people during the coronavirus outbreak.

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter's warming center is closing for the season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Now another organization to help the same community is doing even more than typical.

"It was a gut-wrenching decision," Boyd Kronholm, executive director at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter said.

The decision to close the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter's warming center, suspend soup kitchen meals and close its doors to non-guests due to the coronavirus concerns.

"How do we balance public health with helping everybody," Kronholm said.

Some people who use the warming shelters at night are upset about its closure.

"We should have at least had a little warning," Adrian McComb said. McComb has been staying at the city's warming center this winter.

He said many homeless people spend time together anyway and don't typically practice social distancing, so he doesn't see why they still can't use the warming center.

"But we're still human beings and not all of us homeless people are bad," he said fighting back tears.

Ann Sweeney is the founder of Hope for Homeless. She and her team help at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter regularly and are stepping up during this time to help people like McComb.

"We'll be here every day as long as this stays in effect," Sweeney said.

At the shelter handing out bagged lunch, hygiene products, and warm clothing for people who are not staying here.

"There is no help from the government for this. So it's just us as a society, our local villagers, hope for homeless and we're providing all of this it's all donations," she said.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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