Housing and Community Services
a division of Bangor Health and Community Services
With a mission to encourage dignity, self-respect and self-reliance, the General Assistance program encourages its Bangor resident applicants to achieve self-maintenance and positive social function through referrals to community services and incentives to work. The program supports individuals in need while also working to preserve and strengthen the family unit by providing income eligible applicants with food, housing, fuel, medications and other basic necessities.
Services provided by this program are designed to help stabilize difficult life situations, and enable applicants in their effort to return to self-sufficiency. Those who are able are encouraged to participate in the Workfare initiative, administered under General Assistance, at City or non-profit sites. This provides individuals an opportunity to develop works skills and a work history, while seeking paid employment in the community. In an average month, 600 workfare hours are successfully completed by those enrolled in the program.
To receive assistance, applicants are required to comply with program rules and meet eligibility criteria governed by State of Maine statute and policies and City of Bangor ordinance.
General Assistance is a hand, not a hand-out. As a short-term program designed to help clients toward the goal of self-sufficiency, this service acts as an effective bridge to a more productive and stable life for both individual and family.
- General Assistance works with families faced with the cost of burying a loved one who lived in Bangor, but who lack the resources to pay for it.
- We also help applicants who are applying for Social Security Insurance benefits. With the guidance of our staff SSI specialist, over 166 clients were successfully assisted in 2008.
A Vital Link to the Community
The General Assistance program administered by the City of Bangor’s Department of Health and Community Services responds to requests from local agencies and churches and, to ensure a connection with those who may not be aware of available services, engages in outreach with several Bangor shelters to assist their guests in the on-site completion of applications.
The People We Serve
During 2008, an average of 500 households received General Assistance benefits each month, and an average of 600 applications were taken. In the end, though all who apply are not eligible for assistance, those who do qualify are given the resources necessary to help start anew, and are challenged to begin building a brighter more sustainable future for themselves and their families.
General Assistance Program Staff
Orinda Fogler, Community Services Manager