PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --A response team forpeople in distress who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol is in danger of disappearing.

The HOME Team lost 75 thousand dollars in federal funding. That's about a third of its budget.

In 2013, The HOME Team had more than 8,000 contacts with clients. They transported 2,700 people.

Most of the time, they transport clients directly to Milestone, the city's only shelter that allows people under the influence. Milestone has nurses in house and its staff is trained in working with substance abuse. If the program disappears, many of those clients will likely end up in police custody, an ambulance, or the emergency room.

"So you're taking officers away from 911 calls and being able to be proactive in investigations and working on drugs to essentially acting as a taxicab and taking somebody from one location to another," Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said. "Which of course, we want to make sure that they are safe and we are more than happy to do that, but the HOME Team is certainly much better equipped to do that particular function. They do a great job."

City officials say they know how crucial the service is, and they are working with their partners to try to find alternative funding. That includes the possibility of paying for it out of the city's general fund.

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