City seeing increased need for housing for homeless seniors

PORTLAND — If Avesta Housing decides to build a facility on Brighton Avenue for homeless people 55 and older, it will be “just one piece of the puzzle” in assisting chronically homeless seniors in Portland, says Norman Maze.

“This is a population that is really in need of services. This kind of triage center and shelter is critically necessary,” said Maze, who is deputy director and housing director Shalom House, which provides services and housing to individuals with mental illnesses. “Living in the elements like that is putting a pretty big toll on their health.”

Avesta is looking into the possibility of building a tiered system — an assisted living facility, housing and an assessment center — for senior homeless people on city-owned land near the Barron Center, a site once considered for the city’s new homeless shelter.

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