Finding Shelter at the United Methodist Economic Ministry

January 14, 2021

“For you have been a stronghold for the poor, a stronghold for the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm...” Isaiah 25:4
Finding Shelter at the United Methodist Economic Ministry
Daniel Dolan, President UMEM Board of Directors
The United Methodist Economic Ministry is one month into its Stronger Together Capital Campaign and we are excited to announce that we are just $6000 away from the $26,000 needed to complete our most vital project—keeping the weather off the ministry with a new roof over the Salem Thrift Shop.  The ministry hopes to get this project under contract this winter. The ministry was also blessed with a commitment from a long-term partner church community to raise the $20,000 needed to the winterization the Salem bunkhouse.
Winterizing the Salem bunkhouse will allow the ministry to improve its operations and outreach in two important ways.  Most importantly, it will allow the ministry to provide temporary emergency shelter for folks experiencing an emergency or crisis in the local community. It will also allow mission teams to continue working with a degree of comfort during the chilly mountain weather in September and October.
In the past several years the ministry has provided “last resort” temporary emergency shelter for several families.  In one case, a young pregnant single mother with two small children was forced out of her home after the pipes froze and flooded parts of their home.  With no other option available, the ministry housed them in the kitchen area of the main building with a bunkbed, and access to a bathroom and a cold water only sink. While this mother and her children were staying in the kitchen, the UMEM staff contacted local firemen who, using materials from the ministry’s housing repair program, volunteered to do the work necessary for mom and her children to move home after just two weeks.  Their stay could have been much more comfortable, and private, if the UMEM bunkhouse was winterized. 
Because of your generosity in supporting the Stronger Together campaign, we will soon be able to temporarily house families in a facility with proper beds, hot showers, and privacy. 
As the story of a family seeking shelter during a crisis illustrates one way the ministry’s bunkhouse could provide a modest, safe, and comfortable shelter for local families to find shelter in the storms of life, there is also another wonderful way that it will help us to better serve our neighbors.  With the updated housing, mission teams will be able to serve at the ministry well into October.  This means completing additional home repair work requests as well as providing a place for volunteers to stay while sorting the many donations we receive each day.  In other words, the winterized bunkhouse will warm many hearts across western Maine.   
The Stronger Together capital campaign will provide the essential facilities through which UMEM’s mission will continue to be accomplished. Your gift today will enable us to provide our neighbors with shelter from life’s storms for many tomorrows to come.  For more information about the Stronger Together campaign, or to donate, visit