Maine homeless shelters stretched to the max

PORTLAND, Maine – The mayor of the city of Portland said the city’s homeless shelters are over capacity on a nightly basis.

Mayor Michael Brennan said the problem is so bad people are sleeping in chairs or are being turned away from shelters.

"We even have an overflow shelter for our overflow shelter, and we’re having anywhere from a half dozen people to as many as 25 to 30 turned down a night, so we’re beyond capacity," said Brennan

Rick Russell has been out of work for three and a half years and homeless since November and sees the problem on a nightly basis.

"I’m not feeling good. I want things to change. I’d love to be working again," said Russell.

It’s not a problem just in the city of Portland. The executive director at the Tedford Shelter in Brunswick says they turn down as many as four to five adults at night.

"We’re virtually full every night. In the course of a month, in the family shelter particularly, we have to turn down 30 to 35 families," said Executive Director Craig Phillips.

It is a problem Russell said he no longer wants to be a part of.

"Everybody says all good things come to an end. So I’m trying to believe all bad things come to an end to and I kind of believe this can’t last forever," said Russell.

Brennan said a task force created to look into Portland’s homeless shelter overcrowding is expected to come up with a plan by the end of the year.