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Portland residents speak out against proposed homeless shelter location

The city is currently looking at three locations for its new homeless shelter.

PORTLAND, Maine — It's been a point of contention for months -- finding the perfect spot for Portland's new homeless shelter.

City officials have narrowed the search down to three different locations: land on County Way, a parking lot on Commercial Street, or land off of Riverside Street.

RELATED: Push-back expected on three proposed sites for new Portland homeless shelter

RELATED: Portland officials discuss location for new homeless shelter

Those who live by the proposed Riverside location spoke against that proposed location to city councilors Monday evening. It was not an item on the agenda, but the group says they wanted their concerns to be heard.

They feel the location does not serve the homeless population, raising concerns about the distance to the nearest hospital. They say they are also concerned about the potential dangers surrounding heavy traffic.

"If the homeless shelter is truly for the homeless community, then they have to re-evaluate it, because this is not the place for it," Portland resident Stephanie Neuto said.

"They're isolated. They can't just get out and get a sandwich somewhere or a soda somewhere," Portland resident Harry Marster said. "It's not a good environment because it isolates them, and that's not good for them, and it's not good for the city." 

City officials are expected to take the issue up again at their meeting on May 6.

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