Transition Plan for Housing Asylum Seekers Announced by City


Some of the Cots Set up at the Portland Expo for Asylum Seekers, Supplied by NEMA.

An update on a transition plan to house recent asylum seekers in Portland was announced this afternoon by the city.  Some of the offers included assistance from local colleges and universities.

Although President Cummings of USM last week offered the temporary use of one of its dorms for a few weeks, the city has decided that it would be best fo focus on finding more long-term housing for them.  That was decided because it would be less stressful for families who have already endured so much.

Additionally, city officials attended an emergency meeting this morning of the Greater Portland Council of Governments Metro Regional Coalition.  At the meeting, members of neighboring cities and towns agreed to work with local developers and private property owners to find vacant apartments or suitable empty facilities that could house 100 families.  Committee members also agreed to ask their city and town councils to contribute money to nonprofit agencies assisting the asylum seekers.

The Greater Portland COG will work with the city in organizing the regional response to funding long-term housing for the asylum seekers.  GPCOG will coordinate the creation of a program that will allow families to host asylum seekers their homes.  The agency will distribute a list of nonprofits that have worked to assist the needs of families staying at the Portland Expo.  City and town managers will coordinate financial contributions so nonprofits receive needed funding.

The latest physical count of those in the Expo as of this morning is 223 people.  The total computer intake count is 292.  These numbers represent  87 families.

The city has received almost $400,000. in donations through its text to donate program.  From just the text to donate program, more than 2,500 people have donated from 30 states and more than 226 towns in Maine.

Please see previous posts herein:  June 17, 2019 about a bake sale this Saturday, June 22, to benefit asylum seekers and another post dated June 12, about the arrival of the asylum seekers in Portland.