Maine’s Affordable Housing Crisis is Contributing to a Big Increase in Student Homelessness

Joel Morse, a staff member at the Store Next Door, organizing clothes inside the resource center in Lewiston in late summer 2023.

Chris Indorf, the assistant superintendent for schools in Biddeford and Saco, said that before the pandemic, student homelessness was typically temporary ā€” just a month or so ā€” as a relatively ample housing supply made it somewhat easier for families to find a new apartment.

“Now the homelessness seems to be endemic. It’s lasting an entire year, or it’s spanning years,” Indorf said. “Most of those cases aren’t destitution ā€” aren’t tents out behind the Starbucks. They tend to be intergenerational, families living with other families. Part of that is due to the economy. And a good part of that is owing to just extremely limited housing stock in Biddeford and Saco, and what is available is exorbitantly expensive.”

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