Last week, Portland welcomed an influx of over 200 people who are seeking political asylum in the United States. The new arrivals are not eligible for state-funded General Assistance, therefore are relying solely on the city's financial assistance and on donations and other support coming in from businesses, nonprofits and private individuals. The City of Portland, with the help of partner agencies, has turned the Expo Center into a temporary shelter. Many of you have been contacting us wondering how you can help. Thanks to your generous outpouring, we are no longer looking for volunteers to help us prepare the lunches that are being delivered at the Expo Center. As always, we accept all food donations during all hours that we are open as well as financial donations to support our work. For an updated list of other ways to get involved, please refer to the organizations below. 

City of Portland - Donate to the fund to help the city provide shelter and support. Text EXPO to 91999 or visit

Congolese Community of Maine (COCOMAINE) - COCOMAINE is a nonprofit community organization whose mission it to facilitate integration of Congolese people, assist Congolese immigrants during their transition to life in Maine, and promote entrepreneurship and Congolese culture through educational and social events. They are on the ground daily assisting and are collecting donations to help support these efforts. To donate, please visit

Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition - Are accepting physical donations (shoes & clothes for babies, kids, and adults; personal hygiene supplies; toys) at 501 Forest Avenue, Portland (map), M-F: 8-5PM; Sa/Sun: 8-1PM. They are also accepting monetary donations to help support their Emergency Response. For more information, please visit

*UPDATE 6/19: Due to an inspiring outpouring of donations, MIRC is no longer accepting physical donations but is accepting financial donations to help with transportation and legal costs. To donate, visit*

*UPDATE 6/27: Help is needed 6/28 and 6/29 to move boxes of donated supplies at Gateway Community Service (501 Forest Ave, Portland). To sign up, complete this doodle poll. 

Preble Street - Volunteer preparing and sharing meals at the Resource Center. Preble Street is always looking for volunteers in the kitchen but currently in especially high demand due to the influx of Asylum Seekers coming to eat meals at the Resource Center. To sign up to volunteer, visit 

United Way of Greater Portland - Sign up to volunteer at the Expo Center.

*UPDATE 6/17: Due to an inspiring outpouring of 1,000+ volunteer sign-ups, the UWGP has closed the site so that they can process and schedule those signed up.*

*UPDATE 6/19: There is currently a high demand for interpreters to volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering as an intepreter, please sign up at*

Read More:

Portland Press Herald, Portland delays decision on support for asylum-seekers 6/25/19

City of Portland Transition Plan Update 6/19/19

Portland Press Herald 6/15/19

Bangor Daily News 6/14/19