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April 01, 2024

King Announces $510,000 to Support Homeless Youth in Aroostook County

The funding was secured by the Senator in the Bipartisan FY2024 Congressionally-Directed Spending Appropriations Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King has announced that The Northern Lighthouse has been awarded $510,000 through the bipartisan Fiscal year 2024 Congressionally-Directed Spending (CDS) appropriations package to bolster and support its efforts to serve homeless youth. The funding will allow The Northern Lighthouse — which runs the only youth emergency shelter and transitional living program in Aroostook County — to bring on more staff and serve more youth. Additionally, the funding will be used to purchase a van so staff members can drive the young people they work with to jobs, appointments and community activities.

The funding is part of the $454 million — for 185 projects — that the entire Maine delegation secured for state projects in the Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Package.

“The work The Northern Lighthouse is doing in Aroostook County has been life changing for so many young people,” said Senator King. “Safe, secure and stable housing, as well as a strong support system, is key to helping young people get back on their feet and work toward a brighter tomorrow. This ripple effect of this funding will make a world of difference for the dedicated folks who run The Northern Lighthouse, as well as the youth they serve.”

“This announcement is huge news for us here in Aroostook County; having additional funding means we can add more members to our existing team — which means we can do more for the youth in our community who need support,” said Blake Hatt, COO of the Northern Lighthouse. “We thank Senator King and his team for helping us navigate the Congressionally-directed spending process, because once you give youth a home base, the easier it is for them to get on the right track in all phases of their lives.”

Senator King has long worked to curb homelessness in Maine. In the past he cosponsored the Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act to curb youth homelessness in Maine and across the country. The legislation would reauthorize several important federal initiatives that support America’s homeless young people, including a grant program that help states and local communities as they work to address the needs of runaway and homeless youth. Additionally, the bill includes new language to target human trafficking and prohibit these federal programs from discriminating against a child based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Senator King has also met with people at numerous homeless shelters throughout the state and listened to their stories.

The 185 FY24 Maine investments secured by Senator King can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet HERE and viewed on a map HERE.

CDS funding is included in annual federal appropriations bipartisan legislation and provides a specific amount of discretionary funding to a state, locality, or nonprofit organization for projects with demonstrated civic and community value. Last year, Senator King secured over $250 million in Congressionally-Directed Spending for 140 Maine projects.

Senator King will begin accepting preliminary requests for FY25 Maine-based Congressionally-Directed Spending projects, pending updated FY25 guidance, in the upcoming weeks. Details on the FY25 CDS opportunity will be available on Senator King’s website.


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