COVID-19 Social Distancing & Services Info

Mar 18, 2020 | COVID-19

To our New Beginnings supporters, clients, and friends:

Like many other nonprofits across the nation, New Beginnings has been urgently working to balance how to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 (and seasonal influenza which is still circulating locally) while also continuing our mission. Because we serve vulnerable young people in Maine who often have no stable place to go and very little adult support, we are doing everything we can to maintain our core programs which provide a critical safety net to youth experiencing hunger and homelessness.

We are, however, making adjustments to our services based on rapidly evolving advice coming from the state and CDC. As of 3/16, we implemented an agency-wide social distancing plan which limits all but the most essential in-person contact, and have cancelled all trainings and group outings/activities until further notice.

Our offices and buildings are now closed to visitors, and all business that can be conducted remotely or over the phone/computer are being done using those methods. Additional cleaning and sanitizing has already been increased for all sites and vehicles, and staff and youth are being asked to wash hands frequently and maintain at least 6 feet of space between them at all times.

Using these measures, our emergency youth shelter, mental health, and transitional living programs remain open for current clients only; any potential new intakes are being screened for health risks and symptoms. Our 24-hour help line (207-795-4070) connects callers to the shelter program staff who can share information, referrals, family support, and shelter eligibility/availability information. Family mediation and engagement services are being provided by phone/video only.

Our Youth Outreach Drop-in Center at 134 College Street in Lewiston is currently remaining open/staffed on a limited schedule (1:30-4:30 pm daily), primarily for to-go emergency food pick-up for young people ages 14-21 who are at risk for homelessness or in crisis. The door is being kept locked; youth will be allowed to come inside Drop-in only two at a time, for 20 minutes each, to wash their hands, talk to staff while maintaining 6-foot distance, check messages, request supplies, or pick-up mail/food/hygiene supplies.

***Mobile food pantry service is continuing for youth clients that request a food box by calling by 4 pm Thursday for Friday delivery or pick-up.*** Outreach Program alumni can pick up a to-go meal on Tuesdays between 3:30 and 4:30 pm. Case management is continuing whenever possible using phone/video and social distancing practices; transportation of clients is extremely limited/unavailable in most cases. The Drop-in Center and Outreach staff can be reached at 207-795-6831.

Our administrative offices are minimally staffed and are closed to all visitors, and our educational support classrooms are currently closed. To reach agency administration please call 207-795-4077 or email; if you are trying to reach a specific staff person, contacting them by email is the best option.

Further updates or changes will be posted here and our Facebook page.
Thank you!