Governor Marks Next Step for Florence House

PORTLAND – January 28, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Governor John E. Baldacci tonight joined supporters of Florence House to mark the next step toward the project starting construction. Florence House will provide permanent, supported housing to chronically homeless women in Portland. The project is a partnership between Avesta Housing and Preble Street.

“Preble Street has long been recognized for providing a critical safety net to those in need in the community,” Governor Baldacci said. “And Preble Street has been an important partner with the State in addressing not only the immediate shelter needs of these individuals, but in also addressing the underlying causes and symptoms of homelessness. Florence House holds the promise to make great strides to continue our shared goal of ending chronic homelessness in the Portland area.”

Florence House will feature three types of housing to accommodate 50 women, including 25 apartments, 15 safe haven living spaces for women who are not yet ready to live independently, and 10 emergency beds for temporarily homeless women. The Florence House model is based on approaches to homelessness and chronic mental illness that have emerged nationally, as well as experience at the Preble Street Day Shelter and in developing Logan Place.

“This is another important collaboration, building on your successful partnership with Logan Place,” the Governor said. “We need to continue to coordinate the response to homelessness across government, nonprofit and private sectors.”

Governor Baldacci has supported Florence House since the project was announced in January of 2007. The Governor was joined at the ceremony by Mark Swann, Executive Director of Preble Street; Dana Totman, Executive Director of Avesta Housing; Elaine House, Chair of the Preble Street Board of Directors; and about three dozen supporters of the project.

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