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Editors' Pick
Best Place to See the Unintended Byproducts of Capitalism

Preble Street

With the economy teetering along its slackwire course, the chances are getting better that even you might find yourself joining the soft parade of invisible people that passes along Congress Street from Joe’s Smoke Shop to the Portland Public Library. When all else fails, and the landlord won’t wait, and your forwarding address is going to be Deering Oaks Park, the place to regain your bearings is the Preble Street Resource Center.

Operating since 1977, Preble Street provides a place to get a meal; a day shelter with bathrooms, showers, and a laundry; personal hygiene items; clothing; telephones; mailboxes; and storage space. There are connections with service agencies to help people get psychiatric care, job counseling, family planning, and transitional housing. There’s a walk-in medical clinic for the homeless. The group works with homeless teenagers, helping them find an emergency place to stay and access to food, health care, counseling, getting a GED, and help with substance-abuse issues.

Dealing with Portland’s many unfortunate and sometimes bewildered citizens is a pretty big job. Preble Street has about 100 staffers working in four facilities, including two shelters. They’ve also partnered in developing a low-cost apartment building, and are planning a comprehensive center for homeless women.

Preble Street was recently awarded a $1 million, five-year challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation to help it navigate through its growth. Given the state of the economy and the doofus condition of our elected officials, they — and we — are really going to need it.

Preble Street | 207.775.0026 |

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