August 21, 2019
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Portland helping more than 200 asylum seekers find homes

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
A child pushes a stroller at the emergency shelter setup inside the Portland Expo building, June 19, 2019. Hundreds of new asylum seekers, mainly from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, started arriving in Portland last month.

Officials in Portland said they’re working on finding temporary and long-term housing for dozens of asylum-seeking families currently taking shelter at the Portland Expo.

Portland is housing 200 to 250 asylum seekers at the basketball arena. Officials said they’re working against an Aug. 15 deadline because the Expo needs to return to its typical operations.

City Manager Jon Jennings and city staff members held a meeting on Wednesday with leaders in the immigrant community to discuss new housing possibilities for the asylum seekers. Portland officials also plan to run a cultural orientation program at the Expo to help the asylum seekers understand their housing options.

The city said it has raised about $815,000 in donations to help assist the asylum seekers.

Related: The story of immigration in Maine goes back centuries

 



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