A Place to Call Home: Part One

For most people who use Maine’s shelters, homelessness is temporary. But there are others who need more support– the chronically homeless. A decade ago, the State of Utah made a commitment to eliminate chronic homelessness. And what’s being done there is inspiring people here in Maine and across the country. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (R-Utah) … Read more

A Place to Call Home: Part Two

This is Part Two of a series on Housing First. In Part One, WCSH traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to learn more about that city’s acclaimed Housing First programs out there. Preble Street has been running Housing First programs in Portland for more than a decade. What kind of commitment from Maine’s leaders will it take to expand … Read more

Pay it forward with kindness

PORTLAND/GORHAM (WGME) — Random acts of kindness and paying it forward. They’re phrases we’re hearing more and more of these days. Bottom line is, it seems being rude and having mo manners are on their way out and being nice and thoughtful are in. So we decided to see if that’s the case in Maine. … Read more

Sweet Home

Editor’s Note: Last May, we published "Cornered: Portraits of Portland’s Traffic Panhandlers," by local writer and photographer Doug Bruns. This winter, Bruns completed a similar assignment, this one focused on formerly homeless people who have made the transition to housing with the help of local social-service agencies. (One of the subjects of "Cornered," Judy, also … Read more

$50,000 set aside to build apartments for homeless

PORTLAND, Maine – The Portland City Council on Monday night unanimously voted to set aside $50,000 to distribute to a developer willing build a so-called "housing first" apartment project for homeless people. The measure will designate the money from the city’s Housing Trust Fund, which currently has just more than $724,000, to the cause. Jim … Read more

Maine partners dedicated to ending chronic homelessness by 2015

Autumn is a beautiful time to enjoy the natural beauty of the Maine coast, so it was exciting to receive an invitation from the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition and the Maine State Housing Authority to participate in their annual conference. We were thrilled to see that the conference planners included a workshop track on the … Read more

Portland's panhandling restriction may beg bigger question

PORTLAND – Shane Boilard spends a few hours a day, a few days each week, panhandling on the streets of Maine’s largest city, usually on traffic medians at major intersections leading into the downtown area [click to continue reading on the Portland Press Herald website].

Avesta’s Dana Totman named Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year

When Dana Totman was first courted by the board of York-Cumberland Housing in 2000, the then-deputy director of the Maine State Housing Authority saw a struggling, stagnant organization in desperate need of new leadership. "They were not real productive, they were just kind of plodding along," he says. Poor financial health, low workplace morale and … Read more

Portland panel urges regional solution to homelessness

PORTLAND – The mayor and city manager must work with surrounding communities to solve the city’s homelessness problem, a leader of the city’s Task Force on Homelessness said Monday. The City Council received a brief presentation about the task force’s report during a workshop session Monday at City Hall. A public hearing and council action … Read more

Maine Voices: Florence House gives the homeless hope along with shelter

PORTLAND – Will I ever find a home? Is there any way to end homelessness? This month marked the first anniversary of an event that answered those questions with a resounding "Yes!" It was the anniversary of the day Preble Street welcomed homeless women home for good to Florence House, the comprehensive woman’s center on … Read more