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. 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 and Justice Department Award $300,000 to Help Justice- Involved Youth in New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania Find Jobs and Housing

    WASHINGTON - To help advance housing, jobs and educational opportunities for justice-involved youth, HUD and the Department of Justice today announced $300,000 in grants to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and legal assistance organizations in New...

  2. HUD Charges Washington State Property Owners, Developer with Discriminating Against Residents with Disabilities

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today it is charging the owners and developers of Ashlynn Estates, a 27-unit complex in Ellensburg, Washington, with housing discrimination for designing and...

  3. HUD Charges South Dakota Landlord with Discriminating Against Woman and Her Daughter

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today it is charging a Rapid City, South Dakota, landlord with housing discrimination after she refused to rent an apartment to a woman and her daughter.

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