People needing to live outside on streets or encampments in the cold of winter is inhumane and dangerous. But, sweeps are inhumane and dangerous too.
We are outraged by the City of Portland’s announcement that they will sweep Harbor View Park on Tuesday, December 19, 2023. Please reach out to the Mayor, the City Manager, and the Portland City Council to ask them to postpone this sweep until at least the week of January 8 – after the holidays and after the new year.
- Mayor Mark Dion: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Councilor Pious Ali: email@example.com
- Councilor April Fournier: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Councilor Roberto Rodriguez: email@example.com
- Councilor Anna Trevorrow: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Councilor Victoria Pelletier: email@example.com
- Councilor Regina Phillips: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Councilor Anna Bullett: email@example.com
- Councilor Kate Sykes: firstname.lastname@example.org
- City Manager Danielle West: email@example.com
Just two weeks ago, when beds finally became available at the City’s Homeless Services Center, Preble Street shifted the efforts of the Street Outreach Collaborative team to focus exclusively on moving people from the encampments into those beds. Several other outreach workers in the community are also doing this work.
Success is happening even though there have only been 15 days since beds became reliably available.
- People have moved into shelter. Our efforts have helped about 20 people out of the cold and into shelter over the past two weeks.
- Now, we are working closely with more than 30 people to address their concerns or any barriers to get them into shelter or housing. This is a population that needs lots of support to keep moving towards positive outcomes.
- We are tracking the barriers to people accessing beds at the City’s Homeless Services Center. We have learned more of the reasons why people are stuck in unsheltered homelessness – some because their partners/relatives can’t access shelter, some because of anxiety around crowds, some because of substance use issues.
We all want people to move into shelter and housing, but social workers need more time now that there are finally available beds for our most vulnerable Mainers.
Take action NOW! Please ask the Mayor, the City Manager, and the Portland City Council to postpone the sweep of Harbor View Park until at least the week of January 8 – after the holidays and after the new year.
Take action NOW !
Simply adding more beds at Portland’s Homeless Services Center won’t solve the City’s unsheltered homelessness crisis. If we want people living in tents to access shelter, it is critical that the services provided are delivered with their needs and voices at the forefront. On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, the Portland City Council will hear
Portland, Maine, has a unique opportunity to drastically decrease encampment and unsheltered numbers with the opening of the new Riverside shelter and its 179 new beds. Read Preble Street’s seven action steps to address this public health, housing, and shelter crisis.
The chalk writing on the doors near the Bayside Trail says, “I’m so ignorant to think we’d make it out of this thing TOGETHER…or alive.” The hearts surrounding the message give hope, but the ‘or alive’ just scratches the surface of the despair we all feel knowing that there is no ready, short-term solution for