Deadline nears for closing shelter for asylum seekers

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Some are accusing Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling of sending mixed signals to more than 200 African asylum seekers about their housing prospects.

The city is racing to find housing for more than 200 people who are living at an emergency shelter at the Portland Expo before Aug. 15, when it will close.

There is not enough housing for all of them in Portland.

So far, 38 families have been placed in housing in Portland and in communities as far away as Bath.

But many newcomers want to stay in Portland, which is home to a Congolese community.

Strimling acknowledged telling some of the newcomers that they cannot be forced to live where they don’t want to. But he also says he told them they could be forced onto the streets.

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