Federal funding for homeless shifts to housing programs

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — More than one million dollars in federal money is coming to Maine to help the homeless, specifically to place more chronically homeless people in permanent housing.

The money is going to several agencies around the state that support housing first and rapid re-housing programs, which provide permanent housing for the chronically homeless. Preble Street has seen success with a similar program at Logan Place, which opened in 2005. The agency has received more than $900 thousand dollars to create a new housing first program.

“We are really going to be able to focus on chronically homeless people who are kind of stuck in the shelters because of mental illness, chemical addictions, increasingly more medical issues that are going on in their lives” Preble Street Executive Director Mark Swann said.

But the award does come at a cost. The shift in federal funding will mean less money for local shelter programs like the ones Preble Street provides. Because the chronically homeless make up about 20% of the shelter population, the housing first funding will free up resources to help people using shelters temporarily get back on their feet.

The HUD funding is being allocated as follows:

· Counseling Services, Inc. / CSI Woodbridge Renewal Project, Saco: $68,247

· Milbridge Harbor Apartments, Machias: $29,903

· Preble Street / Residential Support Program, Portland: $939,176

· Shaw House / Shaw House Waterworks Supportive Housing Program, Bangor: $107,256

· Tedford Housing / 19 Pleasant Street, Augusta: $6,727

· Tedford Housing / Everett Street Apartments, Brunswick: $16,283

· The Opportunity Alliance / 22 Park Avenue Rapid Re-housing, Portland: $47,827

· York County Shelter Programs, Inc. / Brand New Day: $32,697