Florence House


Operating 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year, Florence House provides a wide range of low-barrier support services to homeless women. Women experiencing homelessness are exceptionally vulnerable to violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking and the safety and support provided by Florence House staff is critical. 

A partnership between Avesta Housing and Preble Street, the property was built and is owned and managed by Avesta; Preble Street provides 24-hour staffing and coordinates service provision to all tenants.

Florence House includes three programs:

  • Housing First Efficiency Apartments for individuals who are ready to manage independently.
  • Safe Haven provides a permanent, private living space for chronically homeless women who are not quite ready to maintain their own apartments and who may, with support, begin to develop trust, self-assurance, and skills to become more independent.
  • Shelter with a small number of emergency beds for immediate, short-term refuge for women who are temporarily homeless because of an economic or situational crisis.

Learn more about Florence House Programs

Florence House provides efficiency apartments and 24 hour on-site support for 25 adult women who have experienced chronic homelessness. 

Preble Street — along with our partners at Avesta Housing and Portland Housing Authority — has shown that the solution to chronic homelessness is Site-based Housing First, like the programs at Florence House, Logan Place, and Huston Commons where tenants each have their own permanent efficiency apartment and casework staff provide 24-hour supportive services to maximize housing stability and prevent returns to homelessness.

Aside from the importance of having 24/7 social work staff on site, another key component of Site-based Housing First programs is the opportunity to build community. Whether it’s a spa day (pictured below) or the opportunity for a shared meal cooked by tenants and staff, there are many opportunities for residents to build relationships with their neighbors.

When people have a safe, stable place to call home the results are profound and far-reaching. Once out of the chaos of homelessness, where every minute is focused on basic survival or spent waiting in line for a place to sleep or a bite to eat, people can stabilize and then work toward a more fulfilling and independent future; they can leave their traffickers, overcome substance use disorder, focus on their health, education, or employment, and rebuild relationships with friends and family.

Florence House has 15 safe havens, which are small rooms with 3 walls, a bed, a wardrobe that can be locked, and a curtain for privacy. 

Guests are prioritized for safe haven based on vulnerability. We consider factors such as:

    • Fleeing domestic violence or trafficking
    • Co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders
    • Active psychosis
    • Their current sleeping / shelter situation
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Frequency of interactions with law enforcement
    • Medical needs

Florence House has 25 emergency shelter beds for adult women over the age of 21. Florence House does not take referrals from providers for beds or keep a waiting list. 

Clients in need of shelter can call Florence House at 1pm to check-in for a One Night Emergency (or ONE) bed.

  • Providers cannot call on behalf of a client unless the client is with them. Florence House staff will need to speak directly to the client when they check in.
  • The amount of ONE beds fluctuates day-to-day and the availability of a ONE bed cannot be guaranteed.
  • ONE bed clients can arrive at Florence House any time after they are assigned a ONE bed.

Questions regarding the Florence House bed process can be directed to fhmanagement@preblestreet.org or by calling Florence House and asking to speak with a supervisor.


Florence House is named for Florence Young, a caring, dedicated social worker who believes in the value and worth of every single human being, regardless of circumstances and status.

Florence was a social work student intern, a staff member, and a Board member at Preble Street. She was a key contributor to the beginnings of the agency, working side by side with our founder, Joe Kreisler, whom Florence respected, admired and loved. Florence helped shape the organization, develop our philosophy, and start the hard and important work of implementing our mission. Florence House is a tribute to Florence Young, her ideals, her spirit, and her love.