The City of Portland launched an application process in late 2019 for community partners to request reimbursement for expenses they incurred as a result of the unprecedented influx of asylum seekers this past summer. The City of Portland operated an emergency shelter at the Portland Expo between June 9 and August 15, processing intake for almost 450 people. During that time, the City was able to house more than 200 of those people with additional families being placed in host homes and others staying at the City’s Family Shelter until housing units could be found and arranged. The Expo shelter was the first time the City had run a 24/7 emergency family shelter operation. Subsequently to the Expo center shelter closure the City has received over 500 additional asylum seekers at our City facilities.
The City received over $900,000 in donations this summer to help provide assistance to the asylum seekers as they arrived and settled in Maine. The first priority for these donations has been for the sheltering and basic necessities of asylum seekers. However, the City also launched this process to reimburse partner organizations for expenditures they incurred as a result of the influx. In early 2020 the City disbursed more than $140,000 in to 11 community partner organizations.
The initial application period has closed but any organization interested in future funding opportunities should send an email to ASDonations@portlandmaine.gov, including the name of the organization and a contact person. The City will notify all organizations who have emailed about future opportunities for reimbursement or funding.