Top U.S. housing official visits Maine

U.S. housing official Barbara Poppe pays a visit today to the Joe Kriesler Teen Shelter at Preble Street in Portland.

One of the federal government’s top housing officials has been visiting a couple of homeless shelters in Maine’s biggest city.

Barbara Poppe, the executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, toured the Florence House shelter for women, and the Joe Kriesler Teen Shelter at Preble Street this morning, ahead of the 2013 Maine Affordable Housing Conference, which takes place tomorrow in Portland.

Poppe is a keynote speaker at the event and says the issue of youth homelessness will be one of the main topics of her speech.

"This is a population that, for the first time across the country, we’re beginning to recognize," she says, "not kind of put it under the carpet but instead say, ‘Look, youth homeless is something that can be addressed.’ And I think some of the work that’s been done here in Maine is the kind of work that could help us across the country."

Maine, she says, has introduced some progressive policies when it comes to helping young adults find a way out of homelessness, although she is concerned by the continuing rise in Portland’s homeless population.

To hear more from Barbara Poppe on affordable housing, click here.

This story was reported and written by Tom Porter.