Valley Avenue in Bangor is Closed Today as Encampment is Cleared
Valley Avenue in Bangor will be closed for most of the day as crews work to clear a homeless encampment.
Are the Residents Just Being Told to Leave?
Last week, the City of Bangor announced that encampments on Valley Avenue will no longer be allowed, effective April 11th. City officials have been working with the unhoused residents of the encampment during the winter, to try and place them in more permanent housing. Several agencies have been involved in the project, like Welcome to Housing, which is providing furniture and other necessities as the residents make the transition from tents to living in apartments.
How Have Federal Authorities Helped?
They've received support in this endeavor from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, after a number of representatives visited Bangor in September. Their efforts to identify each of the Valley Avenue encampment residents and help them to find housing has been going on for months. This included making sure the residents had the proper paperwork, like housing vouchers, medical assessments, and case management, to allow them to make the transition. At last report, Bangor's city officials were still looking for landlords willing to allow some of these folks to rent from them.
Bangor's unhoused population has grown in recent years, as the city has gained a reputation as a 'service city,' where many services are available for homeless people.
When Will Valley Avenue Reopen?
Public Works crews and others will be on Valley Avenue this morning, with the road expected to be closed to traffic and pedestrians starting at 7:00 Wednesday morning. According to a post on the City of Bangor, Maine Facebook page, officials expect the road to be reopened by mid-afternoon.