Following Letter from Maine Governor Mills, FEMA Awards Federal Funding to Reimburse Portland, Organizations for Assisting Asylum Seekers

Augusta, ME (STL.News) Following a July letter from Governor Janet Mills to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), FEMA Friday awarded nearly $900,000 to reimburse the City of Portland and local organizations for the care they provided to asylum seekers who arrived in the state this past summer.  Governor Mills issued the following statement in response:

“The State of Maine, the City of Portland, surrounding municipalities, charitable and faith-based organizations, residents, and many others stepped up to help those newly-arrived in Maine this past summer,” said Governor Mills.  “Simply put, Maine did its part, and with this award, I am glad FEMA has heeded my call for the federal government to step up and do its part too.”

In July, Governor Mills urged the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to dedicate federal funding to Maine municipalities that have experienced an influx of asylum seekers and to local organizations that are assisting them.  The Governor’s request came after Congress passed, and the President signed into law, emergency legislation that appropriates $30 million for “jurisdictions or local recipient organizations serving communities that have experienced a significant influx” of people.  That funding will be distributed through FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

FEMA awarded the City of Portland Family Shelter $864,000 in funding to cover costs the city incurred to help asylum seekers.  FEMA also awarded $20,400 to the Preble Street Soup Kitchen and $8,100 to the Jewish Community Alliance.