A new emergency shelter is slated to open in a 16,000 square foot facility on November 29 at 166 Riverside Street in Portland. The shelter will have 179 beds and will primarily house single asylum seekers. Developers Collaborative, a private developer, is renovating the existing building for shelter use. City of Portland Health & Human Services staff will operate the shelter for the first 18 months and Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC) will provide food services. Following the 18-month period, MIRC will staff and operate the shelter.
The opening of the shelter at 166 Riverside Street will allow the City to free up roughly 120 shelter beds at the Homeless Services Center (HSC). The City is also adding an additional 50 beds to the 208-bed HSC through the use of a limited-emergency recently approved by the City Council. These roughly 170 beds will be prioritized for individuals sleeping outside as the HSC includes wrap-around services tailored to those who are circumstantially and chronically homeless.
Developers Collaborative was able to construct this new emergency shelter thanks to a MaineHousing grant received by the Center for Regional Prosperity, the non-profit arm of the Greater Portland Council of Governments.
Portland is currently providing shelter for approximately 1,000 people on a nightly basis. In addition to the Homeless Services Center at 654 Riverside Street and the new shelter at 166 Riverside Street, the City also operates a Family Shelter on Chestnut Street and overflow spaces for families.