Portland gets grant to delay closing of homeless health clinic

The city of Portland has won federal funding to continue operating its Health Care for the Homeless clinic beyond April 1, when it had been scheduled to close.

But how long it will stay open – and what services will be offered – is uncertain.

The clinic is still expected to run out of funding this year, and some patients are concerned about having to leave the place where they have received primary medical care for years. A nearby health center, meanwhile, is hiring staff and gearing up to care for some of those patients.

Portland’s clinic, which serves 2,300 patients, was expected to close at the end of this month after losing a $680,000 federal grant that paid for much of its operating costs.

The new federal funding – $360,000 – is intended to ease the transition for patients, many of whom will get medical care at the Portland Community Health Center, a primary care center that also serves the general public. The new funding will also delay the loss of dozens of full- and part-time jobs until the city-run clinic closes sometime later this year [click here to read the full story on the Porland Press Herald website].