Family Emergency Shelter

Helping families transition out of homelessness



Members of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children®, Bright Horizons at Portland, Kettle Bells 4 Kids, CrossFit Casco Bay, CrossFit Harpoon and YCSP (York County Shelter Programs) recently opened a Bright Space® for children at YCSP’s Family Shelter in Sanford. Bright Spaces are designed to provide children in crisis with a dedicated warm, enriching area to play and learn.

YCSP is thrilled to partner with community focused partners, especially when it comes to improving the lives of our children. Studies have shown that children of all ages thrive when they have a safe place in which to explore the world around them, filled with books, toys and activities that are developmentally appropriate and provide an opportunity for them to discover the magic of childhood. Children experiencing stress, such as homelessness, especially need access to these kinds of child-friendly spaces. 

Volunteers came together on Sunday, October 30th to construct a new cedar playset on a blank slate of a fenced in playground at the YCSP Family Shelter.  In addition to swings, a slide, rock wall, and clubhouse, the team also built a sandbox.  The area now houses a seating area for adults, a storage shed with bikes and balls, and many props for dramatic play.  The play area is capped off with an outdoor easel and totes of materials for exploring creativity. 

The groups came together again on November 7th for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! Check out a few of the videos below:


Pomroy and Emery houses:  two homes, designed to accommodate up to 16 people, per house, in family situations, totaling 32 people.  Both houses are located in Sanford.  Families who are homeless are directly admitted into the Family Shelter. In the past, homeless families have had to enter to adult Emergency Shelter before moving into what was called the Family Welcoming Center. Looking at what is best for families and children has led YCSP to change this requirement. This program is staffed during the day and there is on-call services and support for all the families. Families will be provided with case management, daily living training, some parenting skills, groups relating to communication skills, anger management, stress reduction, and utilizing community resources.  The ultimate goal is to place families permanently in housing and to increase their ability to live independently.