October 16, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that Lewiston non-profit New Beginnings, which works to improve the lives of homeless youth and families in crisis, has been awarded $179,367 in grant funding through the Administration for Children and Families (ACYF). The funds will be used to support their emergency shelter. This funding was awarded through the ACYF’s Family and Youth Services Bureau. ACYF is a subsidiary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees major federal programs that deal with social services, protective services, and adoption for children.
“The work done by New Beginnings has a direct impact on the Lewiston community and the lives of youth and families,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “It has been truly inspiring to learn about the wonderful work that New Beginnings is doing for homeless youth, and it is a model for organizations across the country on how to successfully reach out to young people who find themselves homeless."
From its start 35 years ago to the opening of the new Ann Geiger Center this spring, New Beginnings has helped homeless youth gain the sense of safety and security of having a place to call home, and provided them with other resources to succeed, from assistance with college applications to developing such life skills as living on a budget and learning to cook.
Funding through the Basic Center Program is authorized through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. Senators Collins and King are cosponsors of the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act, which would reauthorize and update the important federal programs that serve homeless youth. The Basic Center Program has helped thousands of homeless youth meet their immediate needs.
In June, Senator Collins, a long-time supporter of homeless youth programs, was joined by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Julián Castro, in touring the New Beginnings’ Ann Geiger Center in Lewiston to see firsthand how organizations in Maine are working to end runaway and youth homelessness.
In addition, this past April, Senator Collins’ held a hearing before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, which she chairs, to examine efforts by the Secretary’s Department to prevent and end youth homelessness. At the invitation of Senator Collins, Brittany Dixon, an alumni of New Beginnings and a current Educational Technician for Washburn Elementary School in Auburn, shared powerful testimony about her experience as part of the New Beginnings program.