Protesters plead with governor not to close down a DHHS facility

PORTLAND (WGME) — Protestors want to send a strong message to the governor.

They’re fighting against a decision to close down a Portland DHHS facility and open a new one in South Portland.

At least one democratic leader says the governor’s move is only adding to the quote: “war on the poor.”
It’s a message from Portland to Augusta.

These protestors say people utilizing DHHS simply cannot afford to go to a new facility in South Portland.

Patty Fitzpatrick works at Preble Street and says she sees the struggle first hand.

The group Homeless Voices for Justice holds this protest every month.

On Wednesday, Portland senator and senate president Justin Alfond joined their voices, speaking out against the governor’s decision.

Governor Lepage signed the contract to move the facility in January.

Lepage says this plan will save taxpayers more than 23 million dollars over the course of 30 years.

But for the people who use the facility and know others who rely on it, they say there has to be another way.

Jim Devine, Homeless Voices for Justice, says, “It’s a bad solution to a problem that is almost a problem that doesn’t exist.”