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November 07, 2007

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man sitting at computer, long hair
Ed Page

Welcome Home

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Welcome Home

When Ed Page found himself on the streets one cold night in Portland, Maine, the city had few services for the homeless. He found his way to an air vent, and spent the night there trying to keep warm. That was 20 years ago.

As the homeless population rose in Portland, service organizations created soup kitchens, temporary shelters, and clinics. Those efforts helped, but they didn't solve the problem. Ed himself tried a variety of programs, jobs, and treatment centers over the years - but he always ended up back in the shelter.

Then social workers at Preble Street, a homeless services organization in Portland, got an idea: why not take the worst cases, the chronically homeless, out of the shelters and put them up in permanent housing? Three years ago they did just that, and opened "Logan Place."

Ed Page was one of the first residents. He says living in his own place has changed his life - he finished his GED and now he is thinking about going to college.

The director of Preble Street, Mark Swann, says the program is not only successful - it's saving city and state agencies a lot of money.

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