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Penquis to buy Bangor motel to create housing for unhoused individuals

Penquis is planning to renovate the Pine Tree Inn and create 41 units of permanent housing for people in need.

BANGOR, Maine — Penquis CAP is working to purchase a Bangor motel and turn it into permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness.

The organization plans to purchase and renovate the Pine Tree Inn on Cleveland Street, creating 41 units for people in need.

"They'll be able to stay there as long as they need or as long as they'd like. It wouldn't be like some other shelter-like services where there's a shot clock where they have to get stabilized and move out. We know that oftentimes that doesn't work for a lot of people," Penquis Housing Development Director Jason Bird said.

It would be an opportunity for someone who is unhoused to get a roof over their head and get access to permanent support services, like working with local organizations for mental health or drug addiction.

Case managers will first start housing people who have the most barriers that are currently making it difficult for them to find a place to stay, according to Bird.

"I think it's just an absolutely wonderful thing for the city," Bangor City Council Chair Rick Fournier said. 

Fournier said the homeless population has become "more noticeable" in recent years and this will only help.

Penquis will be finalizing the purchase of the Pine Tree Inn in the third week of April, Bird said. Renovations are expected to take three to five months.

The City of Bangor and MaineHousing have offered financial support to Penquis to help purchase the inn.

"As a society, we need to do better than just allowing people to sleep in tents or sleep outside," Bird said.

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