The Star-Herald

McLaughlin named Homeless Services of Aroostook general manager

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Homeless Services of Aroostook is pleased to announce the addition of Lisa McLaughlin  to Aroostook County as general manager.

McLaughlin joined the agency on March 22 and shares, “I am excited to be a part of the Homeless Services of  Aroostook’s amazing and dedicated team! I will be working to build on our strengths so that we can  continue to make a positive impact on the individuals that we serve. We will continue to follow HSA’s  vision and mission by striving to end homelessness.”  

In her role as the general manager, McLaughlin will be collaborating and building relationships with other organizations in the area that focus on homelessness and public health issues. Another important task will  be to contribute to the public dialogue regarding the issues of homelessness, poverty, hunger and disabilities. We will be working to expand and organize fundraisers and to build our volunteer base.  

McLaughlin was most recently employed as the business office manager at Dirigo Pines in Orono She brings eight years of healthcare administration in business management and human resources to HSA. She also has  over 20 years of experience working in various administrative and leadership roles from executive director, assistant director, business manager and operations. She is in her second year obtaining her BS in operations management at Southern New Hampshire University. McLaughlin is married, has two adult children and five grandchildren. She  loves hiking, bicycling and traveling.  

Sue Watson, board president is looking forward to working with McLaughlin in her role as general manager. “Lisa  brings with her leadership experience and is detail oriented and committed to the quality of services HSA  has to offer. This also makes Lisa an asset to our organization and as part of our team she will take on the  daily challenges that makes HSA the success it is,” says Watson.  

McLaughlin is eager to learn more about HSA, the needs in our community and meet with community  stakeholders.  

Homeless Services of Aroostook, a 501C3 non-profit organization began when the late Sister Mary O’Donnell along with the St. Mary’s Social Action Committee spearheaded the effort to create a place for people who found themselves homeless in 1984. We were then called the Temporary Shelter for the  Homeless, Inc. and in 1998 after her death, the name was changed to Sister Mary O’Donnell Emergency  Homeless Shelter as a legacy for her selfless service to the people of the community.  

The shelter has a 43-bed capacity (plus six-bed overflow) a total of 49 beds that serves families as well as  individuals who need emergency shelter. In addition to a warm place to sleep, shelter residents have access to hot showers, three meals a day and a laundry facility. All shelter residents have a case manager who works with every individual and household to establish a case plan, providing a road map to independent living. The case manager will advocate for and connect shelter residents to the programs and services available to them to meet their specific needs. Compassionate staff make every effort to decrease the stress of homelessness by checking in new clients professionally, taking time to review rules and policies, and answering any questions while ensuring confidentiality at all times.  

HSA remains the only emergency homeless shelter for the general public in Aroostook County,  geographically the largest county east of the Mississippi and approximately the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, serving a population count of around 72,000 from the 2010 census.  

HSA is overseen by a volunteer board of directors who donate their time and talents. In our efforts to  end homelessness in Aroostook County and return individuals to an independent life we are fortunate to  be able to partner with the following agencies serving the same population: Hope & Justice Project, ACAP, DHHS, AMHC, Northern Light, AR Gould Hospital, Pines Health, Life by Design, Care & Comfort as  well as several veteran support organizations. 

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