Advocates praise Housing First program created under Mills budget

PORTLAND, Maine — The budget Gov. Janet Mills signed into law Tuesday includes funding for a Housing First program to help people struggling with chronic homelessness in Maine.

Avesta Housing and Preble Street partnered on the first three site-based Housing First programs in Maine: Logan Place, Florence House, and Huston Commons, providing 85 total units in Portland.

Avesta Housing built, owns, and maintains the buildings; Preble Street provides 24-hour support services to ensure that people who are making the transition to permanent independent housing will succeed. Portland Housing Authority issues project-based Section 8 vouchers that are attached to every unit.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development defines Housing First as an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment, or service participation requirements.

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