Social Services

The Social Services Division strives to provide quality programs to low-income Portland residents that encourage dignity, self-respect, and self-reliance in the transition from public assistance to self-sufficiency.


General Assistance
The General Assistance Program provides Portland residents with assistance for basic needs such as rent, food, non-food, medication, fuel, utilities, and other essential services. All assistance is granted in voucher form and no cash assistance is granted. 

Representative Payee
While most people receive their Social Security and Supplemental Security benefits directly, some are mandated by Social Security Administration to have a Representative Payee to provide assistance in managing their funds. Payee services for consumers receiving Social Security Disability benefits are provided through this program.
Home To Stay
In July 2014, the City was awarded $175,000 in operating costs and $175,000 in housing subsidies for housing individuals and families through the Maine State Housing Authority.  

The Home to Stay (HTS) Program is modeled after a rapid re-housing approach that provides housing stability services to persons who are experiencing homelessness. The Home to Stay Program assists homeless clients seeking permanent housing with education, services and support to meet their health, housing, and employment needs in order to overcome barriers to obtaining and maintaining housing. The goal is to help participants achieve permanent stable housing.   

  1. Free Workforce Development Conference on October 26 at USM

    The City is hosting a one-day free and open to the public economic and workforce development conference on October 26, 2016 from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM aimed at helping the city attract and retain a vibrant, multicultural, and educated workforce. Read on...
  2. CDBG Funding Process for Portland Non-Profits Begins October 10

    The federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is designed to help non-profit organizations start or expand innovative and creative programs that serve the needs of low-income Portland residents. Applications available starting October 10. Read on...
  3. New HIRE Program Gets GA Clients Out of Poverty and Into Self Sufficiency

    The City of Portland’s new HIRE -- Helping Individuals Regain Employment -- program is working to get General Assistance (GA) recipients who are stuck in a cycle of needing emergency assistance out of poverty and into self sufficiency. Read on...
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News from HUD

  1. HUD Releases 3-Year Study of Strategies to End Family Homelessness

    WASHINGTON - When a family with children seeks emergency shelter, there are a number of interventions to address their homelessness. Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the results of an exhaustive study to...

  2. HUD Expands Housing Protections for Survivors of Violence

    WASHINGTON - When a home is a place of violence, residents are vulnerable to losing their housing through eviction, coercion, or abuse. Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development finalized a new rule to protect the housing of...

  3. HUD Reaches $65 Million Agreement with Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration to Improve Accessibility for Disabled Residents

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today a $65 million agreement with the Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration to address longstanding accessibility issues affecting housing for residents with...

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