Portland will close homeless clinic without federal money

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The city of Portland has announced that it will close its healthcare clinic at the end of March if it does not receive help from the federal government.

Last year, the city treated 2,300 people in its clinic for the homeless. Portland applied for a federal grant to fund the clinic that it typically receives each year without competition. But this year, Portland Community Health also applied for the grant, and won. The grant only requires Portland Community Health to treat 1,000 homeless patients in the first year. By the third year, Portland Community Health will be able to treat 2,500 people. Mayor Michael Brennan says that will leave hundreds of homeless people at risk of losing health services.

“So we are worried that 1,400 people won’t have services at this point,” So that’s why we’re working with the federal government to secure funding in order to make this transition in a way that we can ensure that nobody goes without services.”

Portland Community Health CEO Leslie Brancato told NEWS CENTER that Portland Community Health is drafting a plan to ensure that no one goes without healthcare. She and the mayor agree that expanding Mainecare will be critical in making that happen.