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City News

Posted on: February 4, 2020

City Awards Funds to 11 Community Partners from Asylum Seeker Donations


The City of Portland is pleased to announce it has awarded 11 community partner organizations with more than $140,000 as part of an initial round of funding from the asylum seeker donations the City received. The funds are reimbursement for the assistance the non-profit groups provided during an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers last summer. 

The 11 organizations include:  

  • Catholic Charities of Maine ($5,675)

  • Greater Portland Health ($4,671)

  • Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center ($4,900)

  • Greater Portland Transit District - METRO ($6,075)

  • LearningWorks ($480)

  • Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project ($6,178)

  • Maine Emergency Management Agency - MEMA ($11,946)

  • Portland Public Schools ($15,108)

  • The Emergency Action Network - TEAN ($11,765)

  • Town of Brunswick ($70,000)

  • Wayside Food Programs ($5,000)

The City is still accepting applications on an on-going basis. 

“Although many of our community partners came to the aid of asylum seekers with no expectation of being reimbursed for costs incurred, on behalf of the City Council, I’m pleased we are able to award these funds as reimbursement to the nonprofit entities who assisted us,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “This opportunity has been made possible by the generosity of more than 4,000 donors.” 

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 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. 

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. Organizations interested in receiving information on future reimbursement opportunities should send an email to, including the name of the organization and a contact person. 

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