PNA’s questions and Amistad’s answers (via Brian Townsend, Amistad director)
Q1: By what date must Amistad be out of 66 State st? A: No must-depart date. Current landlord is flexible. Sacred heart (SH) and Amistad (A) see a summer 2019 move-in as optimal for a number of reasons.
Q2: What date has been set for A to move into a new home? A: Mid-Late summer 2019.
Q3: With what agency/organization is A negotiating for use of SH? A: A and SH have been collaborating directly.
Q4: How many meetings will be held in the affected neighborhoods A is thinking of moving to? A: SH is holding a parish-wide meeting on 4/1 to create a space for introductions and dialogue regarding A’s use of SH space for its Peer Support and Recovery Center programming.
Q5: What other sites is A looking at? A: A spent about a year looking at various sites with the support of a business realtor. SH reached out to A last fall and the two entities engaged in months-long deliberate discussions about this potential space-sharing arrangement which is now the single site of intention and planning for A.
Q6: Will A, if it moves to SH cancel or forbid use of SH basement for community and neighborhood events, Give-Away days etc? Who will have say about what/when/who SH is used for? A: Continuing SH’s support of the Parkside community is critical, so ongoing activities such as the food pantry, daily AA and NA meetings, Parkside Give-Away Day, Maine refugee services office and Catholic Charities will continue.
Q7: What issues have there been at your current home we should know about? A: A’s peer support and recovery center has been in its current location at 66 state st since the early ’90s. We have a very positive relationship with neighbors there and the West End NA has been a vocal supporter of our work and presence.
Q8: What is the current square footage utilized by Amistad? A: Amistad has eight current programs across southern Maine. Our Peer Support and Recovery Center is the program that we are looking to move into Sacred Heart/St. Dominic Parish in a space-sharing capacity. The program is currently at 66 State St, where we occupy a space that is just under 10,000 sq. ft., though much of that space is under-utilized or sub-optimal for our programming.
Q9: Does Amistad intend on continuing its present meal program at a new location? A: Yes. Our commitment to supporting community members who face food insecurity as a part of their daily lives is central to our mission. We are partnered with Good Shepherd Food Bank. All are welcome at our free meals. We will need to establish an effective service model for meals that will look different, inevitably, from the current model in the current space.
Q10: What is the current number of parking spaces available at Amistad’s present site? A. We share 66 State St with Catholic Charities Maine, and until that building was purchased we existed there as their tenant. Our lease included the use of 7 parking spaces. Most of our program participants take the bus or walk to our program, and we have a small staff that will not impact the availability of street parking spaces nearby. Marie’s Comment on this response: ” ….we have a small staff that will not impact the availability of street parking spaces nearby” is an interesting one, especially since the Peninsula parishes petitioned the Historic Preservation Commission to have more of the grassy area adjacent to the rectory paved over for parking, siting the significant lack of available street parking.
Q11: Where and within what timetable will Support and Recovery be relocated? A: Info on Catholic Charities programs would have to be directed to them. Their stated intention has been to co-locate their three programs–Support and Recovery, Refugee and Immigration Services, and Counseling Services, in a building or campus somewhere. I have not heard about progress on this. – Brian T.
Q12: What is the exact space are you intending to rent at Sacred Heart and what is the square footage?
Q13: What types of modifications, if any, will be made to Sacred Heart in order to accommodate this new use?
Q14: Where will participants smoke? Parks are not an option.
Q15: Presently, Amistad occurs the entire basement level and first floor of the old St. Dominic’s School. Does that square footage equal just under 10,000 sq ft?
Q16: Even though your present lease includes 7 parking spaces, your present location has substantially more available spaces which are used on a regular basis. How many spaces are actually utilized on a regular basis?
Q17: What staff positions are currently housed at 66 State Street?
Q18: Does A intend to participate in Parkside as a collaborative, communicative neighbor (AND make it clear that is Parkside’s minimum expectation.) – Hans B
Q19: How will A make Parkside a better place, considering our actions as residents and actions as a business with clientele extend beyond physical walls? – Emma H
Q20: Showers, storage, and a laundry are available at 66 State Street. Will these amenities be offered at Sacred Heart?
Q21: What supervision will be given to the outside of the building? Q22: Presently, Amistad is running a breakfast and lunch food service that serves between 100-175 people per day. How will food delivery be accompanied on a relatively narrow one-way street. What about storage and trash pick- up? Will a dumpster be needed? Does this use conform with existing zoning?
Q23: Presently, Support and Recovery and Amistad are co-located in the same building and numerous individuals receive services from both organizations. What thought has been given to continuing this cooperative arrangement?
Q24: What relocation assistance has been provided by Catholic Charities, the previous owner of the building? It should be noted that Catholic Charities has owned 66 State Street since 1992 and Amistad was a tenant there for all that time.
Q25: Was Amistad looking to relocate Before the building was sold? For example, did the program need bigger or better space and was therefore looking for a new location or was this move caused by the building being sold?
Q26: How does Amistad propose addressing the various issues that generated a variety of police calls for service to 66 State Street? (8-11’ish per week in 2018)
Q27: For the Chief of Police as well as Amistad: Did anyone from the Police Department or the City of Portland ever discuss with Catholic Charities or Amistad the number and nature of the Police calls for service to 66 State Street? For example, were security cameras ever suggested? Was the expertise of Support and Recovery’s ACT team ever utilized?
Q28: Did either Catholic Charities in its capacity as a Landlord or Amistad ever seek a “No Trespass” order against any particularly troublesome individual(s) who may or may not have been receiving services from either organization?