Portland officials set to toughen requirements for homeless shelter users

… Although a few dozen people came to council chambers to listen to the proceedings, only one person spoke during a public comment period.

Mark Swann, executive director of the social services provider Preble Street, acknowledged the difficult position the city has been placed in, but urged the councilors to continue Portland’s commitment to serving the needy.

Swann encouraged city officials to ask state lawmakers to find another way to fund Portland’s shelter services, calling for a "compassion fund."

"Let’s stop pointing fingers," he said. "If done right, it will be good for the people experiencing homelessness, good for the city and good for the state …" 

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