STATEWIDE (WGME) – A state lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to boost funding to support homeless shelters.
The bill submitted by Rep. Drew Gattine, D-Westbrook, would provide $3 million a year to the Shelter Operating Subsidy program with the Maine State Housing Authority. This would be in addition to money already used by the housing authority to support shelters.
Heather Zimmerman, advocacy director for the Preble Street shelter in Portland, said more people are having to sleep outside.
“We’ve seen, you know, ‘tent cities’ pop up in municipalities across the state,” she said.
Gattine had the following to say about the matter:
“People need shelter. Shelter is a basic need, housing is a basic need. We have an affordable housing crisis in the state, this exerts a lot of downward pressure on a lot of low income people and one of the results is people are more likely to need the service of homeless shelters.”
Zimmerman said most of Maine’s homeless population is in Portland and Bangor.