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Avesta and Preble Street receive $1,080,000 toward the development of Florence House, A Center for Homeless Women


Florence House will provide permanent, supported housing without barriers to up to 50 chronically homeless women in Portland.

Avesta and Preble Street receive $1,080,000 toward the development of Florence House, A Center for Homeless Woman

The Maine State Housing Authority, in cooperation with the Region I Homeless Council, has approved $1,080,000 in funding for Florence House. Florence House will provide permanent, supported housing without barriers to up to 50 chronically homeless women in Portland. The overarching goal of Florence House is to eliminate the need for any woman to spend nights at the Oxford Street Shelter and days on Portland’s streets.

The project has three components:

  1. A Safe Haven will provide permanent private living space for chronically homeless women who are not yet ready to maintain their own apartment. Shared areas and supports will help women begin to develop trust, self-assurance and skills to become more independent.
  2. Efficiency Apartments will provide supported housing for women who are ready to manage more independently.
  3. A limited number of emergency beds will provide immediate, short-term housing for women who are temporarily homeless because of an economic or situational crisis.

This project is a partnership between Avesta Housing and Preble Street, and is the second such effort under the Home for Good initiative. The first, Logan Place, provides 30 efficiency apartments for chronically homeless people for whom current services and housing options have not been successful. Logan Place has been operating successfully – and at capacity – since April 2005 and maintains a long waiting list.

The Florence House model is based on current evidence-based approaches to homelessness and chronic mental illness that have emerged nationally as key strategies for ending homelessness, as well as Preble Street’s experience at its Day Shelter and in developing Logan Place. These include the “housing first” model, the safe haven model, harm reduction treatment strategies and services to women. Florence House will provide 24-hour staffing by a minimum of three trained Life Skills Workers at all times.

Looking for more?

Check out Avesta's blog, The Porch Light, for more news, updates and stories.

Contact Development and Communications Manager Sara Olson at 207-553-7780 x3352 or by email.