PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Officials in Maine's largest city are touting ongoing efforts aimed at giving homeless people a hand on the same day a new ordinance goes into effect banning panhandlers from median strips.
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan, community advocates and others said Thursday that the city's Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness is reaping benefits with its focus on affordable housing and outreach efforts to the city's homeless population.
City officials say there's been a 30 percent increase in housing placements for homeless adults this year.
Portland's homeless population also fell in July, for the first monthly decline since 2009.
The ordinance that went into effect Thursday bans loitering on median strips on city streets. It was passed in response to safety concerns about panhandlers on median strips looking for handouts.
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