At its last Council Meeting, the Portland City Council voted to fully fund Spurwink’s ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) proposal for Ashlea’s Place, an ultra-low barrier housing first mental health recovery residence for people struggling with long-term homelessness.
This project will be a collaboration between Spurwink, Community Housing of Maine (CHOM), and Milestone; and is designed to serve those who have struggled to maintain placement in residential/Private Non-Medical Institution (PNMI), housing first, and shelter services due to struggles with serious mental illness, substance use, and justice system involvement. It is expected that many of the individuals served will be well known to our Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), Opioid Health Home (OHH), and Living Room Crisis Center (LRCC) programs. The program is named after a long time member of the unhoused community. Spurwink’s teams spent years trying unsuccessfully to help them find housing, finally deciding to create a program specifically to meet their, and other similar community member’s needs. Sadly, they died of natural causes at the beginning of the pandemic.
While we weren’t able to help them find housing, we hope this program will be able to help other vulnerable unhoused community members.
You can read more about ARPA and other local community projects and funding at https://portland.civilspace.io/en/projects/american-rescue-plan-act.