Ground Breaking for New “Homeless Services Center” Occurs at 654 Riverside Street


A View of the New Homeless Services Center, 654 Riverside Street, Portland.  (Photo Provided by City of Portland).

Ground was broken this morning for the new Homeless Services Center at 654 Riverside Street (HSC) in Portland.  The HSC will provide 208 beds in a modern facility that will transfrom the way in which the city and its partners provide critical services to the homeless.

The new site replaces the city’s current emergency shelter at Oxford Street, which the city leases and was not designed to serve in this capacity as it can only serve clients with mats on the floor.  The project is the result of a public private public partnership.  Developers Collaborative is constructing the facility and will lease it back to Portland to operate.

The city is partnering with several local service providers to provide critical wrap around services on-site at the new HSC as well as access to private and public transportation to other key services.  These service partners include:  Preble Street, Amistad, The Opportunity Alliance and Greater Portland Health, as well as others.  The new facility will provide a host of comprehensive services to ensure that clients get what they need to get back on their feet.  This includes meals, a full health clinic, adequate day space, workforce training, housing counseling services, mental health and substance use services.

The new facility is expected to take 12 monhs to complete and cost up to $25 million to construct.  The city paid $6.5 million up front and the remaining amount will be financed via a 25-year lease.

The City Council approved using $3.5 million in city allocated APRA funds to help cover the upfront payment.  The remaining $3 million was awarded to the city from Cumberland County’s ARPA allocation.

The Homesless Services Center was approved by the city council on June 17, 2019, calling the creation of a modern homeless services center with emergency shelter access and complete wrap around services to be located at 654 Riveride Street on  vacant, city owned property.  City stafff issued an RFP in Feruary 2021, soliciting proposals from private developers to build and then lease the new facility for the city to operate.  The City Council selected Developers Collaborative in June of 2021.