Opening of Elena’s Way

“I friggin’ love it here!” – Elena’s Way Wellness Shelter client  On a Tuesday in early October, the first guests entered the long-awaited Elena’s Way Wellness Shelter. They were greeted by a wide-open space filled with natural light, soothing colors and art on the walls, and their very own bed. Preble Street caseworkers gave them … Read more

Elena’s Way opens soon to provide 24/7 intensive services to 40 individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness

A model for future shelters, Elena’s Way provides dignity and choice to individuals of all genders experiencing homelessness and complex health and behavioral issues who are unableto access any other shelter Shelter is a human right, yet the number of people living unsheltered in Portland, Bangor, Lewiston, and throughout the state of Maine has surged. … Read more

Elena’s Way: A model for future shelters

Emergency shelters provide more than just a place to stay for people experiencing homelessness. When designed and operated using social work best practices, shelters promote the health and wellness of the people accessing services as well as the surrounding community. Perhaps most importantly, these shelters provide hope for the future. Elena’s Way (pictured above), the new … Read more

Mental Health and Homelessness

Behind the struggles faced by many of the people Preble Street serves are fundamentally broken mental health and shelter systems. Living in high-stress situations on the streets or in crowded shelters with limited access to treatment makes people experiencing homelessness particularly vulnerable to chronic mental health issues and co-occurring substance use disorders. Earlier this month, … Read more

REFLECTION: Preble Street Early Response to COVID-19

By Sam Chamberlain (he/him), Managing Director of Preble Street Quarantine Shelters  Note: With funding from MaineHousing, Preble Street operated a Quarantine & Isolation (Q&I) Shelter in Scarborough from May 2020 through March 31, 2022. Because of decreased need, the state consolidated this service to Lewiston as of April 1, 2022.  As social workers — and … Read more

Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year: Mark Swann leads Preble Street on a statewide mission of fighting poverty

We are thrilled to share that Preble Street Executive Director, Mark Swann, has been named a Nonprofit Business Leader of the year by MaineBiz! In his 30 years as our leader, he has helped the agency grow from two employees working in Portland to nearly 300 employees and 1000 volunteers working all over the state … Read more

YOU DID IT!

Thanks to your advocacy and love, the City of Portland Planning Board voted to approve the conditional use application for the Preble Street Wellness Shelter last night!   THANK YOU to all who wrote or called in and voiced your support for your neighbors in need! Over 1,000 of you spoke up to ensure that … Read more

Portland approves plan for new shelter

Portland Press Herald The Portland Planning Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve Preble Street’s request to convert its former resource center in the city’s Bayside neighborhood into a 40-bed emergency shelter. The board heard more than two and a half hours of public comment and received hundreds of emails, mostly in support of the … Read more

Act now to save people from living outside

The only thing standing between 40 human beings and safety, food, hope, and professional social work services this winter and beyond is permission from the City of Portland to convert a Preble Street day shelter into a 24/7 Wellness Shelter. Like the highly successful shelter we operated over the summer at the University of Southern Maine Sullivan … Read more