Residential propety

Shalom House completes renovation of residential program in Portland

Shalom House Inc., which provides housing and support services for people living with severe and persistent mental illness, has completed the renovation of 30 Mellen St. in Portland into a new residential program for 22 people.

Shalom House purchased the property in Portland in 2018. It previously housed a long-running program providing addiction recovery services called Serenity House.

Renovation of the property began in January 2021 and was recently completed. The contractor was HardyPond Construction.

Funding for this project was made possible by Norway Savings, MaineHousing, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and the Genesis Fund. The total cost of the renovation has not been disclosed.

30 Mellen St. is located three blocks from Park Avenue and one block from Congress Street, providing easy access to bus stops located at the intersection of Mellen Street and these streets.

The property is also within walking distance to the Maine Medical Center, as well as convenience stores, banks, post office, and other businesses. This central location will provide all residents with easy access to necessary services and goods.

The main house, combined with the car shed behind it, will provide high quality, affordable housing for 22 people with serious and persistent mental illnesses.

There will be 12 single-occupancy units that will share common areas, including kitchen, bathrooms and living space, and will be self-contained from the rest of the building and other tenants. There will also be five efficiency apartments and a one-bedroom apartment, while the Carriage House will have four apartments for families.

“One of the many benefits of this house is that it gives clients the option to leave the residential treatment program and move into their own efficiency or apartment while allowing them to be in a familiar place” , said Shalom House. “The composition of this building allows us to provide a continuum of services and living conditions in one place.”

The current program is housed in a small house that has limited common areas and offices. The new house at 30 Mellen Street would greatly expand the available space, allowing staff to do more programs with clients, including individual work, as well as more group work.

There is also a much larger kitchen for teaching cooking techniques as well as two lounges for other activities and groups. It would also allow more space for staff areas, which would allow for better monitoring of living areas as well as bedrooms, Shalom House said.

The additional space will allow Shalom House to offer cooking classes, budgeting and banking classes, movie nights, among other services.

Part of rehabilitating this property is to retain as much of the original historic qualities of the home as possible while providing updated and efficient systems. The property also has a large side yard, as well as on-street and off-street parking.

Shalom House provides housing and support services for people living with mental illness. Additionally, they provide housing subsidies to hundreds of people in the state of Maine. The agency operates 28 properties, including group homes, rooming houses and apartment buildings in Cumberland and York counties.