Maine's homeless rate increases 26 percent

The nation as a whole is making strides toward reducing homelessness but the problem is worsening in Maine, according to statistics released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sun Journal file photo

The New Beginnings drop-in center serves homeless youth and youth at risk of being homeless on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. 

HUD’s 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress estimates there were 610,042 homeless Americans in January, down from 633,782 in 2012’s estimate — a nearly 4 percent decline. The number has dropped 9 percent since 2007, when there were an estimated 671,888 homeless, according to HUD.

“We’re making real and significant progress to reduce homelessness in this country and now is not the time to retreat from doing what we know works,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan during a conference call with media members. What works, according to HUD and other organizations dealing with homelessness, is rapid rehousing through programs that enable individuals to get back into a place of their own by helping with a down payment or covering the first few months’ rent.

In Maine, HUD’s data is less encouraging. Maine’s 2013 homeless count of 3,016 was 623 more than in 2012 — a 26 percent spike. Since 2007, the state’s homeless count has increased 14 percent. However, Maine also had the nation’s lowest rate of chronic homelessness in 2013. Six percent of the state’s homeless were chronically homeless, according to HUD. A chronically homeless person is someone who has been continuously homeless for at least one year or has had four or more “episodes” of homelessness in the past three years, according to HUD. The national chronically homeless rate was 17 percent.

For those states that saw significant increases in the number of homeless individuals or little progress in stemming homelessness, an increase in the number of homeless families is often a contributing factor, according to Donovan.

Donovan cited progress made on reducing the number of homeless veterans and chronically homeless individuals across the nation. HUD reports a 24 percent drop in homelessness among veterans and a 16 percent reduction among individuals experiencing long-term homelessness since 2010.

In Maine, there were 164 homeless veterans and 159 chronically homeless individuals in 2013, according to HUD. Three years ago, those numbers were 101 and 226, respectively.

Most of Maine’s increase came from a hike in the number of homeless individuals, though there was a small increase in homeless families as well, according to HUD data.

“We are on the right track in the fight to end homelessness among veterans. While this trend is encouraging news, we know that there is more work to do,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

In Maine, a bill proposed by Rep. Corey Wilson, R-Augusta, to facilitate the use of vacant state buildings for homeless veteran housing received unanimous approval from the 10-member Legislative Council on Wednesday. In a news release, Wilson called the idea “a no-brainer; a win-win for Maine taxpayers and veterans.”

That bill will be referred to committee during the legislative session that starts in January.

Nearly one-quarter of all homeless people in the U.S. in 2013 were younger than 18, according to HUD, and another 10 percent were between 18 and 24 years old.

In 2010, President Barack Obama launched “Opening Doors,” an initiative aimed at ending homelessness within 10 years. Donovan credited that program for nationwide reductions.

The trend of falling rates of homelessness existed before 2010, dropping 3.3 percent in the three years after 2007. President George W. Bush’s “housing first” program, which emphasized finding permanent housing for individuals before treating them for disability or addiction, was credited with reducing rates of chronic homelessness by as much as 30 percent from 2005 to 2007. When the recession hit, some of that progress was undone.

To keep these trends going, Donovan said Congress should continue to fund housing programs that have been proven to work. Donovan said the combination of flat funding from Congress and federal sequestration will mean a 5 percent cut in programs that have helped the federal government drive down rates of homelessness, and the administration is worried about further reductions.

“If Congress does not fully fund these efforts, we will not end homelessness as the president had planned,” Donovan said. “There is no good reason our fellow Americans should be left out in the cold when we know ways to improve their lives.”

To see the full HUD report, visit

To see the breakdown for Maine,

The breakdown for Maine

The breakdown for Maine

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David Russell's picture

Maine had federal help, no doubt

As long as the federal government pays incentives to the state and cities, we will continue to have increasing rates of homelessness. The state, in turn, pays cities (additional) incentives, someone lines their pockets and you see more and more signs on the corners begging for "help."

MARK GRAVEL's picture

"In Maine, there were 164

"In Maine, there were 164 homeless veterans and 159 chronically homeless individuals in 2013, according to HUD. Three years ago, those numbers were 101 and 226, respectively."

Wait a minute!

In 2013 there were 164+159 = 323 homeless.

Three years ago, 101 + 226 = 327.

How is 323 an increase over 327?

Steve  Dosh's picture

Maine's homeless rate increases 26 percent

Mainers, ƒlyday N0oOºø•N hst ?
. .Hawai'i's went up 8.7% , 8,320 ? People live in tents in the jungle and eat fish from the ocean and pick fruit off the trees , cap†ure feral pigs & chicken to feed feral children
No one chooses to be homeless , especially children •
/s Steve

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Hawaii is the welfare mecca

Hawaii is the welfare mecca of the US.


It's cheaper to provide housing, but we won't.

The U.S. Inter-agency Council on Homelessness says: Providing permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness is highly cost effective. Permanent supportive housing leads to dramatic drops in utilization rates for hospitals, ERs, and other major services as well as drops in arrest rates. Unfortunately, we in America will not do it because it's help, and we do not help anyone who might not deserve it. So we'll choose to pay more and be attacked on the sidewalk.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Just pitch a tent. That is

Just pitch a tent. That is inexpensive.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Your solution of

pitch is just plain insensitive to others, especially those children that have to suffer under those conditions....that is total disingenuous on your part, put that is to be a given, since nobody should have anything but you.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Better than nothing.

Better than nothing.

The negative articles in this

The negative articles in this and other Maine newspapers on Lepage will increase as November 2014 draws near. Michaud has hired a professional mudslinger from Nashville for his campaign for governor.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

In my opinion, LePage is

In my opinion, LePage is disliked by many who collect money from taxpayers because LePage opposes expanding welfare programs. Like people say, just follow the money.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Dennis ? lol n e g a t o r y

Dennis ? lol n e g a t o r y ;)
\/olunteer, t o d a y --> <--
Mainers, ƒlyday n0oOºø•n hst ?
. .Hawai'i's went up 8.7% , 8,320 ?
/s Steve
" We host a 92 year old homeless vet who is on social security "

FRANK EARLEY's picture

If that is the source of all your rhetoric??????

Michaud is hiring a negative attack consultant. Personally I have never heard of a "Negative Attack Consultant. Sounds like a fun job though. I couldn't think of an easier position to fill, I mean it's not like she'll have much actual work to do. Finding something negative about LePage, is just about as difficult as finding the ground while parachuting. I would do that job for free, like my old dad used to say, find something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. On the other hand, I can't wait until the GOP out of State Tea Party adds start firing up. It's not the negative stuff they say about Michaud I'm concerned about. It's trying to find something good to say about LePage, now that ones going to require some serious research.................

 's picture


Bet Michaud is using campaign funds. On the other hand, LePage just hired a right wing "think" tank with $1 million of taxpayer money to provide his campaign with talking points.

David Perry's picture

Let's hear it again for our

Let's hear it again for our intelligent, compassionate governor, just voted second worst in the country. In a country as rich as this one, there should be nobody living in the street.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Funny that $17 Trillion in

Funny that $17 Trillion in debt is considered being rich. I think someone's measuring devices is broken or bent to the left.


Which organization obtained

Which organization obtained this vote on the Governor? Could it have been a biased organization? As far as this being a rich country, we are not! Look at what we owe the Chinese people. Our leader in Washington is shoveling money out the door faster than we can borrow it. This country started a war on poverty under then President Johnson almost 50 years ago and we have only succeeded in finding larger numbers of poverty. Could it be our definition of poverty? How many chose to live in the Street? Granted some are having hard times, but if we were a little more careful on how we give out help, we may be able to offer help to those that truly need it. Unfortunately too much is given that is wasted. By this I mean those who get multiple forms of help for the same problem.

I'd blame Obama for the

I'd blame Obama for the terrible economy, high unemployement. Over 91 Million Americans not working. The amount of people on food stamps has exploded under Obama. Slowest economic recovery ever. Went from 11 Trillion to 18 Trillion dollars in debt.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Now that we know Obama is a

Now that we know Obama is a compulsive lair and just got caught tweaking unemployment data, how do Americans know what the true unemployment rate is. Just look at SSDI -a program desperately in need of elimination - expansion under Obama to see the new face of long-term unemployment.


Refresh my memory.

Who was it that took the Clinton surplus and turned it into an 11 trillion dollar deficit?

Clinton worked with a GOP

Clinton worked with a GOP congress. Obama has worked 100% against a GOP Congress. The lack of bipartisanship is beginning
to show the negative effects. (example Obamacare) a disaster1

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

The real disaster is those of your ilk

If you're unconvinced, here is a chart that demonstrates its terribleness. It shows, using OECD data, how much money different countries spend on health care per person, charted against life expectancy in each of those countries. As you can see, there is a pretty close relationship between health-care spending and life expectancy. Except for one very, very terrible country. Can you spot it?

You and your ilk just want to continue on the same path of the US healthcare system that has been for centuries is a disaster and an embarrassment in contrast of other parts of the world.

You have no plan, no solution, but to stay complacent with your dumb rhetoric of lets make something (a Republican idea) FAIL and not work with the law in order to make it better. Your solution is to make it worst by obstructionism, nearly 5o attempts of wasting taxpayers money on repeals, basically doing nothing.

Lets start blaming the failures of the GOP governors that refuse to put in place the (working) healthcare exchanges in the states to whereas the website on the federal level would of not been necessary. \

You see, Repubs fail to work for the country with the new law, only against it, in what can serve as a workable solution to an already out of control health care system that has failed and makes the USA look like a failing country, for it to not even come close to serving its people with some dignity of health care solutions. You fail to see that Americans, elected servants are to work for the betterment of the country, not against it!!!!!!!!!

NO mindless boy wonder the disaster and the embarrassment is the GOP/tbaggers that fail to solve problems but only work to obstruct and create disaster for political rhetoric and gain.

Yawn! Again

Yawn! Again

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Come on Dennis...............

You come out with some pretty far out comments, but to say the president won't work with the GOP is down right stupid. Even a casual reader would realize, the current GOP has intentionally blocked every aspect of the Obama administration. Not only won't the GOP work with the president, they refuse to allow anything he does to pass through Congress. They are actually attacking the presidents every move. Half of all the filibusters in history, have taken place against president Obama. Is that what you call "working with the President"? You'll have to come up with a better one than that..............

Thank God the GOP won control

Thank God the GOP won control of the House in 2010. Just imagine how much more debt we would be in, if he still controlled both branches. Republicans work with Democrats, thats why why Clinton had success. Clinton was willing to compromise. If all I watched was MSNBC, I might have the same view point as you.. I watch both MSNBC & FOX, the conservative view point makes much more sense to me. I also listen to Rush L, and see how he's misquoted by the main stream media. When Rush L. said he hoped Obama fails, it was at socialism. All the media reported was I hope he fails. They left the socialism and the transformation part out of the quote. You talk about the Congress, how about the Dem controlled Senate? Harry Reid is a real piece of work. I can't wait until 2014, when he gets demoted.

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Being in the condition I'm in.................

Being i n the condition I'm in, I have tons of time to waste. I read eleven newspapers a day, I follow the "AP" news feeds, and I follow plenty of conservative sites as well. I watch MSNBC, and FOX, purely for entertainment reasons. I'll even tune into the "Blaze" once in a while to follow the antics of Glen Beck. Now there's a piece of work. It's amazing how many people worship this recovering alcoholic.
No I'm convinced the Republican Party is out to destroy the Government, then create a new one in their own image. Yup, it won't take long for this whole country to be occupied by nothing but a whole bunch of southern Good-Ol-Boys, With everyone packing a side arms, (required by law), town meetings should get a little bit more exciting. The mere mention of ObamaCare will surly be an arrestable offense..................

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Frank you forget who you are debating with;

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I hear ya..........

It's just sometimes someone comes out with something so diabolically stupid, I can't resist. Your using a word I don't think anyone in the Republican party can relate to, "Majority". It's just not in their vocabulary.............


Obama is working against the

Obama is working against the GOP Congress? Quite the opposite. Their stated goal when he was elected was to make sure none of his initiatives would see the light of day.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Why do we get bent out of

Why do we get bent out of shape over the opposition party doing their jobs, which is opposing?


You didn't answer my question.

You say Obama ran up seven trillion, who ran up the first 11 trillion after burning through the surplus?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Funny how people think

Funny how people think Clinton produced a surplus, yet when you look at actual national debt published by the CBO each year Clinton was president, they were all positive increases.

How could that be? How could Clinton simultaneously have a surplus and a national debt increase?

Dems are good at cooking the

Dems are good at cooking the books.

All of the 43 Presidents

All of the 43 Presidents before Barrack Hussein Obama.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Dow ends above 16,000 for first time as stocks jump...Obama

The Dow sank under 7500 under Bush and is soaring under Obama.
Reviewing some key statistical measures of Barack Obama’s presidency so far, we find:
The economy has added more jobs since Obama took office than it did in his predecessor’s entire eight years in office.
Despite the improved economy, the number of people receiving food-stamp assistance has continued to grow, and now more people have been added to the food-stamp rolls under Obama than under any single previous president.
Federal spending under Obama has grown faster than inflation, but far more slowly than it did under President Bush.
Federal debt held by the public has grown by 90 percent since Obama took office.
Obama has ordered seven times more drone strikes than Bush in the covert conflicts in Pakistan and Yemen, according to independent estimates.
Domestic oil production has soared; oil imports have dropped by one-third; new cars are getting 17 percent better mileage; and wind and solar power have increased 157 percent.

As for spending itself, during the George W. Bush years (2001-08), federal outlays averaged 19.6 percent of GDP, a little less than during the Clinton years (1993-2000), at 19.8% and far below Reagan, whose outlays never dropped below 21 percent of GDP in any year and averaged 22.4%. Even factoring in the TARP year (2009), Bush’s average outlays as a proportion of the economy was 20.3 percent – far below Reagan and only a half-point below Clinton. As for Obama, even excluding 2009, his spending has averaged 24.1 percent of GDP.
Ranking Average Annual Growth of Real Per Capita Growth of US GDP per President

For a simpleton like yourself to help put it into a clearer perspective instead of your parroting Faux Noise plus the blubber mouth Limbaugh put it all together...

As for President Obama? He had the misfortune of serving "in what many regard as the worst downturn since the Great Depression."

How to make it to the top 10?

"It often helps to serve during a major war," says Di Matteo. "You should avoid holding office immediately after a major war and definitely make sure you avoid holding office during economic depressions."

Read more:

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I see that your messiah has

I see that your messiah has negative GDP growth accredited to his name. Look on the bright side, two more years until he goes.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

4000 on the NASDAQ

Appears to be a trend of good money returns for the year of the only black President...

The Nasdaq Composite Index pushed though the 4000 mark for first time in 13 years, swept up in the broader bull market that has been a boon for technology companies, as well as the healthcare and consumer stocks that increasingly comprise the bulk of the index.

Stocks outside the tech sector have been the main driver’s behind the Nasdaq’s return to 4000 and its outperformance of the broader market. The index has climbed 33% this year, a full 10 percentage-point lead over the the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Yeah the rich are doing quite

Yeah the rich are doing quite well, maybe even better under Obama. Have you ever seen the statistics on how African Americans are doing under Obama? I'm doing very well with my IRA retirements being overseen by Amerprise. What happens when our government
stops injecting $100 billion of printed borrowed money into stock market every month?

Yeah the rich are doing quite

Yeah the rich are doing quite well, maybe even better under Obama. Have you ever seen the statistics on how African Americans are doing under Obama? I'm doing very well with my IRA retirements being overseen by Amerprise. What happens when our government
stops injecting $100 billion of printed borrowed money into stock market every month?

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Words with all BS with a lot of horseshit on the side...

""injecting $100 billion of printed borrowed money into stock market every month?""

That is why you have no believability with your nonsensical comments...just more of Faux noise parroting...that is all you know how to do...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The exact amount is $84

The exact amount is $84 Billion per month in quantitative easing. Half of that money is used to buy mortgages. The net result is artificially suppressing interest rates, so investors end up buying stocks over bonds, since bonds don't return any measureable ROI. Since net asset values on bonds move in the opposite direction of interest rates, bond investment is a bubble waiting to pop.

Denis is more correct than you are, or you are more incorrect than Denis – take your pick.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


exact amount is $84 Billion...not 100 and not all is injected into the market...dennise and you are WRONG....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

No, he is RIGHT.

No, he is RIGHT.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

WTF has

that got to do with what what you said about your ROI....

Have you ever seen the statistics on how African Americans are doing under Obama???????? Idiot~~~~

MARK GRAVEL's picture

In my opinion, African

In my opinion, African Americans that follow Obama's leadership are the ones who are suffering. That said, my neighbor, who is African American, thinks Obama is a joke. He he does not buy into the Obama'isms, and he is doing very, very well finacially.

If you want to do well finacnally, don't follow the crap from Washington DC. As long as you have someone telling you how unfair life is, you'll remain on you a** and not take risks. With risks comes rewards.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


You actually know a black man with money...aren't you his name is Tom!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You are exposing our

You are exposing our ignorance. There are many Afrian Americans that work for the corporation I do. Perhaps if you travel out of deliverance Maine from time to time, you'll get to see what happens in the real world.

Your statement is the posterchild for ignorance.

Your the ignorant one! the

Your the ignorant one! the numbers don't lie. Obama has failed everyone.
Black unemployment under Obama is double that of white, black teenage unemployment under Obama 42%.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Don't forget that Obama has

Don't forget that Obama has grown SSDI significanlty, mainly to push long-term unemployed on to SSDI and off unemployment the statisics.

I lobby and continue to lobby 60% reduction in SSDI recipients through means testing. I want to see all gamers off SSDI rolls – period.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

You stated that correctly about yourselves

"You are exposing our ignorance"
Yes indeed, exposing yours, goes without saying!

What are the odds, you working with a black man, that has money that doesn't agree with Obama...WOW..

Like as if you are the only person that has known or lived or shared a mess hall or barracks or served duty or better yet have one save your life.

I have been around and back and have experienced life in ways you could never imagine or have walked the walked as I....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

I bet you have a lot of

I bet you have a lot of experiences up the back side - no dought.

Generally I don't keep track skin color of those I work with; they are all the same - co-workers.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You are presenting a faulty

You are presenting a faulty cause/effect relationship. Exactly what has Obama done to boost the stock market, other than print money, which is not an economically sustainable solution.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Only thing faulty is your bias attempts

A rise of 21% from the previous low, this met the technical requirements to be considered a bull market. A Wall Street Journal article declared, "Stocks are on their strongA Wall Street Journal article declared, "Stocks are on their strongest run since the bear market started a year and a half ago as investors continue to debate whether the economy and the markets have finally stabilized".

Bloomberg noted the Obama administration's successes included the sale of $24 billion worth of seven-year Treasury notes and pointed out that March 2009 was the best month for the S&P 500 since 1974.

Your hero of the great republicans fiasco...not learning from history...

Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) had introduced the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which editors of the same paper, The Wall Street Journal, pointed out in a March 10, 2009, article had been blamed for deregulating major corporations and "allowed for the creation of giant financial supermarkets that could own investment banks, commercial banks and insurance firms, something banned since the Great Depression.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Hey Genius

Try 3 years to go, it appears you suck at math too....

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

So did many others before him

Again your short sightedness precedes you...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ya, Zachary Taylor and

Ya, Zachary Taylor and William Henry Harrison, both mid 19th century presidents, have worse records than BHO.

How about ranking BHO against contemporary presidents, like Bill Clinton and George Bush, both of whom scored positive GDP growth and orders of magnitude greater than BHO's negative record.

I think the data you provided says it all, don't you? There is nothing short with my eyesight, it is all there in print.

History is going judge Bush a

History is going judge Bush a lot better than Obama.



You're funnier than Marley, Arse.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Even Independents and Dems ranked GW at the bottom

Plus Repubs also ranked him only 5th out of 11 presidents..

 's picture


"4 percent drop in homelessness nationwide"

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Knowing how Obama is a

Knowing how Obama is a pathological liar, I would be suspicious of any stat coming from his administration.


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