Big Brothers Big Sisters moving from Portland to Westbrook

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PORTLAND — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine is moving to Westbrook this month after more than 20 years in Portland.

The agency, which provides participating children with an adult, volunteer mentor, will officially open at 625 Main St. in Westbrook on Monday, Feb. 26. The building once housed the rectory for the former St. Mary’s Church.

Westbrook Mayor Michael Sanphy said he would meet with leaders of Big Brothers Big Sisters at 10 a.m. Wednesday in City Hall.

“It’s great for our community,” Sanphy said. “It’s a welcome addition.”

A press release said the Big Brothers Big Sisters mission is “to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.”

Rebecca Wright, spokeswoman for the organizatin, said parking has been one of the challenges in the neighborhood at 195 Lancaster St. in Portland.

In Westbrook, the group will have ample parking, more meeting space and larger offices. Wright said Big Brothers Big Sisters has the equivalent of 12 full-time staff members, and while children do not typically gather at the agency’s office, “we interview perspective adults at the office.” 

Wright said the staff is moving “piece by piece” this week and next week.

Big Brothers Big Sisters serves more than 500 children, ages 7-17, in Cumberland and York counties.  According to its press release, the agency will continue “its strong commitment to serving Portland children” affected by adversity and their mentors.

Big Brothers Big Sisters, Wright said, has a long-term lease of the entire Westbrook building. “BBBS looks forward to becoming an active member of the vibrant, growing Westbrook downtown area,” the press release said.

The Westbrook building is adjacent to Riverbank Park and the city’s river walk. Wright said some staffers will take their dogs to work with them.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters telephone number, 773-5437, and its website, www.somebigs.org, will remain unchanged after the move.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 854-2577 or rlowell@keepmecurrent.com.

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