Federal grant targets homeless veterans in Cumberland County

PORTLAND — The Preble Street Resource Center is accustomed to helping the homeless navigate local and state bureaucracies to get the assistance they need. Much of that help comes through either local general assistance programs, or through the state’s Department of Health and Human Services – systems the center knows well. But there is a … Read more

Rally cry: 'We need housing'

PORTLAND – The city has lost more than 100 affordable rental units over the past five years and needs to clarify an ordinance meant to protect its housing stock, advocates for the homeless said at a rally today in Congress Square. Crafted during a housing crunch nearly 10 years ago, Portland’s housing replacement ordinance requires … Read more

LePage visit clears up contested budget item

Worried that the proposed state budget would drastically limit access to General Assistance funds for some of Maine’s neediest residents, one state representative invited Gov. Lepage to Portland’s epicenter of social services and cleared up a major "drafting error." Upon hearing that the governor’s budget proposal called for limiting General Assistance help to once per … Read more

LePage doesn't intend to limit general assistance to once a year

PORTLAND – Gov. Paul LePage does not intend to limit Mainers to receiving 30 days of general assistance a year, according to spokesman Dan Demeritt. Demeritt made that clarification after LePage met with clients and service providers of Preble Street. The stop was one of several on the governor’s Capitol for a Day program Friday. … Read more

Finding the homeless on Portland's streets

PORTLAND – At the far end of the city’s industrial waterfront, over a 7-foot-tall snowbank, across the railroad tracks and behind a patch of trees and frozen brush, Susie Whittington and Sandy Brown saw footprints heading along the riverbank. "Hello!" Whittington called out as she trudged through knee-deep snow. "Homeless outreach. Anyone out here?" About … Read more

City wins $3.196 million in federal homeless aid

Portland received nearly $3.2 million in federal money for homeless relief, most of it in the form of subsidized housing, officials announced Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced its Continuum of Care grants, which provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless people as well as services including job training, health care, … Read more

Housing team to the rescue

PORTLAND – For eight months, Ivelisse Castro spent her nights on a cot in a shelter while she saved her paychecks and waited to qualify for rental assistance. Castro might have waited a lot longer without the help of an aggressive new team of caseworkers who are fighting homelessness in Maine’s largest city. "They’re great," … Read more