Asylum Seekers to be Housed Temporarily at Portland Expo Around April 10th

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Immigrants Arriving at the Portland Expo in June of 2019

Cots Set up at the Portland Expo in June of 2019. In the Background are Boxes the Cots Arrived in from NEMA, part of FEMA.

The Exposition Building was Recently Renamed in Honor of James A. Banks, Sr.  It Opened in 1915.

The Portland Expo Building is Currently Used by Maine Celtics Basketrball Team. No Conversion to a Facility for Asylum Seekers Has Begun.

Plans are underway for the city of Portland to begin housing asylum seekers at the Portland Expo in about two weeks – around April  10.  This space is needed to accommodate the increasing number of asylum seekers arriving in Portland since January from the southern border.

It is  anticipated that the Portland Expo can house  about 300 asylum seekers.  About 900 new Mainers have arrived in Portland since January of 2023 and that trend is expected to continue indefinitely.

The plan is to house asylum seekers at the Portland Expo on a temporary basis – which could be until July of this year.  That’s because funding has been awarded to an empty building at 90 Blueberry Road to house asylum seekers.  Specifically, it was recently announced that MaineHousing has awarded $4 million for renovations to make the Blueberry Road building habitable for new Mainers arriving every week.

Currently, the Portland Expo is  used by the Maine Celtics basketball team.  The team was practicing this afternoon when this blogger visited the facility.  According to someone with first hand knowledge, the team was practicing for the playoffs.  IF the Celtics make the finals, the team would not vacate the premises until April 9th – the day before the building is scheduled to be available to asylum seekers.

Back in June of 2019, the Portland Expo was transformed in a similar fashion for asylum seekers arriving in Portland from the southern border.  At that time, the Expo housed 292 immigrants using green cots for sleeping and providing other basic needs; meals. Back then as now, there was not enough housing available to accommodate them,

For more background information, please visit post herein dated June 12, 2019.