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Sweetser to close group homes in Bangor and Belfast

The nonprofit announced Friday morning it would discontinue developmental programming.

BANGOR, Maine — Sweetser, a nonprofit mental health organization, announced Friday morning it will be closing group homes in Bangor and Belfast.

These group homes have been servicing 45 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for about four years. 

As minimum wage increases and MaineCare reimbursement numbers aren't comparatively keeping pace, Sweetser officials said it can no longer operate these group homes.

“This program is no longer financially sustainable given the current reimbursement rates and staffing difficulties,” Jayne Van Bramer, the new president and CEO of Sweetser, said. “This shift will enable us to re-focus our efforts on our core mental and behavioral health programs Sweetser is known for in every corner of our state; providing support to nearly 20,000 children and adults each year.”

Van Bramer adds that by closing these homes, they will be able to better support the nearly 20,000 children and adults who use their behavioral health programs.

Sweetser will be working with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services as well as outside agencies to place all 45 clients.

This change will also affect 140 staff members who will be losing their jobs. Sweetser officials said they are working with the Maine Department of Labor to find their staff new positions.

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