We partner with multiple organizations to ensure that our work connects to genuine community needs and contributes to sustainable change. These partnerships are symbiotic relationships that serve both the community and student learning. Partners view themselves as co-educators — they're exposing our students to challenges, showing them solutions, and preparing them for lives of public engagement. Our students and faculty members are able to offer partners not only impressive numbers of enthusiastic volunteers and many hours of problem solving, but also expertise in complex research methods and analysis. When the college community and local organizations each bring their strengths to the table, our students receive the privilege of engaging deeply with experts in the field — and in the end, the greater community benefits from coordination and collaboration.
Don Kniseley, Executive Director
Mission: To provide emergency shelter, act as an advocate for homeless people for changes in government funding, and to provide a homelessness prevention program by offering services such as a shelter, family apartments, and transitional housing.
Examples of Bowdoin involvement:
- (2009) IT Service Day
- (2009) Tedford Housing '07-'08
Volunteers serve the evening meal seven nights a week at Tedford Housing's adult shelter
- (2009) Tedford Housing '08-'09
Volunteers serve the evening meal seven nights a week at Tedford Housing's adult shelter.
- (2007/2008) Tedford Shelter
These volunteers serve the evening meal four nights per week at a local homeless shelter, and play games with children living at the family shelter.
- (2008) Researching affordable housing in Brunswick area
Students in this hands-on, semester-long research experience in the local community designed and conducted interviews that are part of a longer-term collaborative research effort by Bowdoin students and faculty-in cooperation with Brunswick Housing Authority and Tedford Housing-to address affordable housing and homelessness in the Brunswick-Topsham area. Students undertook a range of projects, including carrying out qualitative interviews with families on the Section 8 waiting list; developing a new interview protocol for elderly individuals on that list; piloting interviews with local employers to learn about how housing costs in the region may affect their employees and their ability to attract workers; mapping current Section 8 housing locations using GIS; developing a website for the Mid-Coast Community Housing Coalition; interviewing directors of Maine homeless shelters; producing a report for the Maine Association of Public Housing Directors; and drafting a policy article for later submission to Housing Policy Debate. The student work will help build an understanding of the circumstances and challenges of housing-challenged families and provide service providers and policy makers with information about the "invisible" clients who are waiting or get turned away because of limited resources.
- (2007) Research for Homeless Advocacy
While working at Tedford Housing, Carolyn Boyle '08 (Government & Legal Studies/Economics) researched and wrote grants and helped plan the celebration that accompanied Tedford's opening of the Evergreen Wood Apartments for homeless families in Bath. As part of her research project for Tedford Housing, Carolyn coded the shelter's intake forms to develop a database of characteristics of guests using Tedford shelters as a basis for further study of homelessness in Maine.
- (2007) Common Good Grant Awards
In 2006-07, the student-run Common Good Grant Committee allocated a total of $15,800 to local non-profits to support projects that met community needs.
- (2006) Poverty and Policy in MidCoast Maine
- (2006) Tedford Housing Fellow
Anna Karass '08 spent her summer at Tedford Housing, the primary provider of shelter and housing services to residents in Mid Coast Maine. Through her work, Anna increased her awareness of homeless issues in the area, as well as gained valuable work experience in the non-profit sector. Her first project at Tedford introduced her to grant writing and provided her with the opportunity to write portions of a federal grant application. She also developed program policies and procedures for an innovative mentoring program designed to provide homeless families and those at risk for homelessness with a caring mentor.
- (2006) Analyzing Class Inequality, Labor Relations, and Policy in Midcoast Maine
- (2005) Investigating Issues of Class and Policy in Midcoast Maine