PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Some members of Portland’s homeless population now have a place to call home.
Preble Street officially opened the third complex of its Housing First initiative: Houston Commons, an apartment complex designed to help the chronically homeless by providing a permanent place for them to live. Huston Commons houses 30 people who have been living on the streets of the city for years.
The building was paid for through a tax credit, it's staffing and social work is paid for through private grants- Preble Street Resource Center is a non-profit.
The building was named for the late Steve Huston. Once homeless and suffering from alcoholism, Huston eventually became an advocate for social justice and human rights for the homeless. He died five years ago.
“It's exciting to see something that was named after my dad,” said Stephanie Huston, Steve Huston’s daughter, during the grand opening event on Tuesday. “It just shows all the effort he put in to what he did.”
“Once people do have a home and they get stable, they can start to work on their issues around substance abuse or mental illness,” said executive director of Preble Street, Mark Swann. “We've seen tremendous progress, tremendous recovery from people who've struggled for years.”
The tenants of Huston Commons pay a monthly rent fee of 30% of whatever their income may be.
Preble street executives say programs like Housing First lower the number of people in shelters.