Going mobile and getting creative: Preble Street’s Street Outreach Collaborative

The Street Outreach Collaborative (SOC), Preble Street’s mobile outreach team, focuses primarily on people experiencing unsheltered homelessness, with the highest need. The SOC drives around Portland in a blue, Preble Street branded van, (you’ve probably seen it!) looking to meet basic needs and distribute nutritious meals to people. Basic needs are the foundation for a … Read more

Mental health and homelessness: get to know the facts

Although we don’t have a vaccine for mental health or substance use disorders, we do have practical and effective solutions. They are the effective and evidence-based practices we know work — access to treatment, harm reduction services, mental health support, peer support groups, and perhaps most importantly, educating our community to reduce stigma and promote … Read more

Celebrating advocacy wins

Low-barrier shelters receive funding for the next three years… On April 22, 2024, Governor Janet Mills signed the supplemental budget into law, which includes three years of $2.5M in annual funding — a total of $7.5M — to directly support emergency low-barrier shelters. This funding will be incredibly impactful for Maine’s five privately operated, low-barrier … Read more

URGENT – We need ongoing funding for low-barrier shelters!

Maine is experiencing a homelessness crisis, and our critical low-barrier shelters may close without sustainable and ongoing funding. The Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs just approved one-time funding for low-barrier shelters. We thank the AFA Committee for their support; however, emergency and low-barrier shelters need ongoing, annual funding to remain open and operational. We need … Read more

Take Action Now: Permanent Funding for Shelters

Significant and ongoing funding is needed to keep Maine’s professional, low-barrier shelters open. On Friday, February 23, 2024, the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs will consider funding for emergency shelters and low-barrier shelters. Please reach out to the AFA committee, using the drafted email below or with a personalized email. You can refer to the bottom of the … Read more

More than Just Pottery

Art is Healing “Start at the bottom and pinch and turn uncluttered. And slowly work your way up. And you want a pretty thin wall.” It’s a cold Wednesday morning in January, but inside Elena’s Way Wellness Shelter, it’s bright and warm. In the shared area, tables are pulled together, and 10 clients and staff … Read more

Take action: Support funding for low-barrier shelters

At a time when homelessness is exploding across Maine and when tragic encampments have popped up throughout the state, Maine’s critically important low-barrier shelters are in danger of closing due to lack of sustainable funding. Currently, there are only five low-barrier shelters in Maine, run by four organizations: Bangor’s Hope House Health & Living Center in Bangor, … Read more

What can you do in one year? A look at Preble Street impacts in 2023: Curbside Winter 2023/24

Three Preble Street programs celebrated their first year of operation in 2023! Elena’s Way, a Preble Street Wellness Shelter Elena’s Way serves the needs of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, individuals unable to access other shelter services, and individuals who are extremely vulnerable should they be unsheltered. At Elena’s Way, guests have control of their own … Read more

Low-Barrier Shelter Funding Testimony by Mark Swann to Joint Select Committee on Housing

Delivered December 5, 2023 Good morning, Senator Pierce, Representative Gere, and members of the Joint Committee on Housing, thank you so much for inviting me to speak to you today. My name is Mark Swann, and I am the Executive Director at Preble Street, a nonprofit human service agency with over fifteen programs serving the … Read more

One year of changing lives at Elena’s Way

“I have chronic PTSD and could not handle the environments at other shelters. This shelter is different. I was living in a tent that collapsed from snow. They helped me come inside. Now I have an apartment coming.” — Elena’s Way client  Since opening its doors one year ago, the Elena’s Way Wellness Shelter has provided 9,054 bed … Read more