Federal cuts impact Portland homeless program

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – An initiative put together by the City of Portland’s task force on homelessness to get 40 chronic homeless people into permanent housing is about to feel the impact of Federal budget cuts.

Some of the people who received Section 8 vouchers have been informed they may be pulled and funding for 20 of the 40 vouchers won’t be coming at all.

“Going to be really rough for me because I don’t want to be at the Oxford Street shelter for another year or two you know”, said Everett Meserve who is on the waiting list for a voucher.

The cuts are part of the sequestration, automatic spending cuts to the US federal budget. The sequestration initially resulted in job furloughs for some federal workers. Now with the fiscal year ending on Monday other cuts are beginning to hit home.

“Its been kind of trickling out and now we’re seeing really much more the effects of how it’s impacting Maine”, said Rep. Chellie Pingree, (D) Maine.

Congresswoman Pingree flew back to Washington this afternoon because the US House goes back into session tonight to debate a spending bill that would avoid a government shutdown next week. If if that bill is passed it won’t offset the cuts because the sequestration order will remain in effect.