Federal cuts impact Portland homeless program

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – An initiative put together by the City of Portland’s task force on homelessness to get 40 chronic homeless people into permanent housing is about to feel the impact of Federal budget cuts. Some of the people who received Section 8 vouchers have been informed they may be pulled and funding … Read more

Portland working hard to combat homelessness, but changes to MaineCare could make problem worse anyway

PORTLAND, Maine – The city has been touting its recent efforts to combat homelessness, but some say the problem remains serious and is about to get worse. In November, the City Council adopted the recommendations of a task force it appointed to come up with ideas for reducing and preventing homelessness. The recommendations included centralizing … Read more

Preble Street to expand veterans services

Preble Street Resource Center, which has been helping low-income residents at its Portland location since the 1970s, landed a $1.7 million U.S. Veterans Affairs grant Thursday to expand its program for homeless veterans from Portland to the entire state. Mark Swann, Preble Street’s executive director, said the federal grant will help the group serve about … Read more

Homeless Man Killed In Fire Identified

PORTLAND (WGME) — The Maine State Fire Marshals Office has identified the homeless man killed in a fire late Saturday night as 53-year-old Brian Barbour. Investigators believe a candle in Barbour’s tent along West Commercial Street started the fire. An autopsy shows Barbour died from smoke inhalation. The fire started around 11:30 Saturday night. A … Read more

Officials: Panhandling in Portland on rise

PORTLAND, Maine – If it appears that you are seeing more panhandlers on Portland’s city streets these days, officials at the Preble Street Resource Center say you are. Working with police and the United Way, the center is about to launch a study to find out what has caused the sudden influx and what they … Read more

Plan offers ways to aid Portland's homeless

PORTLAND – The city’s Health and Human Services Department is recommending that Portland establish housing where homeless people can stay sober, develop a team of specialists to help the homeless find housing and hire more workers to interview people who enter shelters. That action plan, to be presented Tuesday night to the City Council’s Public … Read more

Bitter cold creates busy homeless shelters

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A week of bitter cold has led to busy homeless shelters, as staff in shelters across Portland open overflow spaces and break records for occupancy and meals served. Staff at both Preble Street and the Oxford Street Shelter said they will not be turning anyone away, but they do need … Read more

Maine social service agencies plead for blankets, clothing

PORTLAND – The weather turned dangerously cold Thursday, so cold that the Salvation Army opened a shelter, the governor declared a limited emergency to allow heating oil companies to make more deliveries, and Portland officials asked the public to donate blankets and clothing for the homeless. The city hit a low of 4 degrees below … Read more

Baby boomers with no place to call home

Charles Jones sleeps every night in the Oxford Street Shelter’s "medical dorm," so called because the room is reserved for up to 16 men in poor health. He’s 55 years old, the average age of the men in the room. They’re allowed inside the shelter a half-hour early, so they can avoid the long lines … Read more

89-year-old appreciates shelter, but longs for own home

Viola Silver, who turns 90 in May, spent two weeks in December at Maine Medical Center being treated for pneumonia and a lung infection. When the hospital discharged her, she says, it paid a cab to take her home – to the Oxford Street Shelter. "You have to thank God you have a place to … Read more