PORTLAND, Maine — 100,000 Homes Portland has announced that 77 chronically homeless individuals have moved out of the shelters and into a home, as part of the national 100,000 Homes Campaign, which will announce on Wednesday that is has reached its four-year goal of ending homelessness for 100,000 chronically homeless Americans.
That number includes more than 30,000 veterans and represents an estimated annual taxpayer savings of $1.3 billion.
In Portland, 11 of the most chronically homeless who have moved into a home through the 100,000 Homes Portland efforts represent a cumulative total 48,280 nights, or 132 years, sleeping at a Portland shelter.
Portland joined the campaign in November 2014, when 60 community volunteers including leaders from the business community, faith community, neighborhood associations, housing developers, landlords, civic leaders, government officials and service providers, conducted 150 surveys to measure the vulnerability of the most chronically homeless people in Portland.
100,000 Homes Portland is a member of the elite “100,000 Homes 2.5% Club,” 57 communities nationwide that house at least 2.5% of the chronically homeless each month, therefore are on track to end chronic homelessness within three years. 100,000 Homes Portland has housed an impressive 4.167% of Portland’s chronically homeless each month.
Efforts to end chronic homelessness have been underway in Portland since 2005, when Preble Street and Avesta Housing created Logan Place, the state’s first Housing First development, offering people who have lived in shelters and on the streets for much of their lives an opportunity for permanent, safe and affordable housing.
Rev. Ben Shambaugh, Dean of the Cathedral of St. Luke and a member of Preble Street’s Board of Directors, was instrumental in bringing the national campaign to Portland. Shambaugh met 100,000 Homes field director Linda Kaufman at a conference and was inspired by her work.
“Her vision was not just to work on homelessness, but to actually end it, and her secret was to do it by knowing people’s names and stories and by using resources that already existed. I thought it was a perfect fit for Portland, where we’ve been doing this work for years,” said Shambaugh, adding that part of the appeal was creating a wider tent than the already fully-engaged social service community.
“100,000 Homes is about bringing new voices to the table. This model only works if people collaborate. The vision of 100,000 Homes is not just to engage social workers, it’s about working with the Chamber of Commerce, with the business community, with the politicians. We have these perceived divisions in the community, but this really cuts across those with a common goal and a common vision.”
100,000 Homes Portland is led by the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Preble Street, and the City of Portland. It is part of the national 100,000 campaign. Coordinated by Community Solutions, the 100,000 Homes Campaign is a national movement of more than 230 communities working together to find and house 100,000 of their most vulnerable, chronically homeless neighbors by July 31, 2014. Since the Campaign’s launch in July of 2010, participating communities have found permanent housing for more than 100,000 of their homeless neighbors, including more than 30,000 veterans, at an estimated cost savings to taxpayers of $1.3 billion. Learn more at www.100khomes.org.