Okay, so that's not exactly how John Lennon put it (and apparently Lennon wasn't even the one who first said it). But life did happen at our Health & Human Services and Public Safety committee meeting on Tuesday night, and it has altered our course as we seek to select a site for the new Homeless Services Center.
On Wednesday, September 4th, the City released several documents related to the new Homeless Services Center being planned for Portland. You can find these new documents (and many more) here.
Some of this information was covered at the Community Forum held at USM on September 8th, but we'll also be discussing these documents at the next Health & Human Services and Public Safety (HHS & PS) Committee meeting (Tuesday, September 11th, 5:30pm, City Hall, Council Chambers).
Since it's tough to tell what all the documents are without opening them, I've created an annotated list of the ones we'll be discussing on Tuesday. Hope this is helpful!
Early conversations about homelessness and the need for an improved shelter facility predate my election to the Council. But I'm proud to have played a role, alongside stakeholders, in moving this conversation forward over the last two and a half years. We're now poised to select a site for a new, state-of-the-art facility that will allow city staff to fully implement best practices and move people from homelessness to permanent housing as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This new facility is just one step in a long-range plan to address homelessness in Portland, but it is a very important step.
Here's a brief overview of the Micro-Timeline to Date* and how I expect the process to unfold from here.
Over the last ten months, the City Council's Health and Human Services & Public Safety Committee, which I chair, has been discussing a proposed Earned Paid Sick Leave ordinance. The proposed ordinance was drafted by the Southern Maine Workers' Center and the Maine Women's Lobby and brought forward to the Council by Mayor Strimling.
To date, the HHS & PS committee has held four workshop-style meetings (November 14, 2017; May 8, June 12, and July 17, 2018) and a public hearing (April 24, 2018) on the topic. We've made some progress, but we still have much to do before we're in a position to make a recommendation to the full Council. Here's what you can expect from the committee as we move into Fall 2018.
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