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Advocates for the homeless speak out against new shelter site

On Friday, June 21, the Homeless Voices for Justice group rallied against the Riverton site, chosen as the location for Portland's new homeless shelter.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland City Council has chosen a site for the city's new homeless shelter -- but not all reactions have been positive.

On Friday, June 21, the Homeless Voices for Justice group gathered outside of Portland's City Hall to talk about the lack of affordable housing in Portland and what it's like to be homeless.

These advocates for those experiencing homelessness say that the site chosen -- Riverton in the Riverside section of the city -- is too far away from the downtown area.

RELATED: Riverside to house new homeless shelter after Portland City Council vote

"HVJ today is trying to make a message to the city, stating that Riverside was absolutely the worst choice that anyone could have made," said Jessica Falero. She aged out of state custody and moved into a homeless shelter in Lewiston at just 18 years old.

"It ultimately really increases the risk for those who are experiencing homelessness, and it truly increases our oppression where there is already an abundance of oppression," Falero continued.

Falero, who is now 22 years old, says she is looking for housing and work but is grateful to the city for the services she has received. She told NEWS CENTER Maine she thinks there are enough resources to house all homeless people and handle the recent influx of asylum seekers in the city.

RELATED: Portland asylum seekers: What we know so far, and the answers we still seek