Hi all –
I hope this beautiful day finds you well. I had a great conversation with Brittany Gill who run the Community Housing Improvement Plan based in Bristol. They distinguish their nonprofit by adding an “Inc.” after CHIP, to separate them from the Central Heating Improvement Program run by Maine Housing and distributed by KVCAP. I’ll explain further about CHIP Inc. below – but KVCAP distributed LIHEAP funds (enough acronyms yet?) for heating fuel and they also do weatherization, house repairs, etc. but apparently they have a long waiting list. They are supported by Federal funding and have a strict set of requirements for support.
CHIP, Inc. is a non-profit based in Bristol, Maine and they focus on central and eastern Lincoln County, including Whitefield. The organization was started by Ruth Ives who was the Carpenter’s Boat Shop founder in Bristol and they are supported by donors from Lincoln County. They do a variety of home repairs as well as one-time fuel assistance (100 gallons of heating fuel or firewood). Brittany Gill explained that the program is for those in need but they are much more forgiving and will assume the best of their neighbors so the process is not onerous. If someone needs their trailer re-skirted, or the floor rebuilt, a ramp constructed, or window inserts, they can call 207-677-3450 and leave a message and Brittany will return their call to schedule a time for repairs (in normal circumstances of course). CHIP, Inc. will pay for the materials and their volunteers do the work – this seems like just the opportunity Whitefield Cares! has been looking for, to match our volunteer work force with knowledge and a vehicle to find people who need help. I will add CHIP, Inc. to our Resource List.
Their website (chipinc.org) is down for repairs but Brittany anticipates it will be up and running in April. They have a community work day in September and she will be keeping an eye out for needs from residents in Whitefield, assuming we can gather safely by that time. If not, we’ll do it later! This is a great example of us using existing groups to facilitate their interest and ours. Isn’t Maine great? Hang in there everybody.