SOCIAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT

GENERAL ASSISTANCE


** By Appointment Only **

 

All interviews are by appointment only. Please call 207-767-7617 to schedule an appointment. Should you receive our voicemail, please provide your name, address and phone number and leave a detailed, confidential message. We will return your call as soon as possible.

 

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - Noon  & 1:00 - 4:30 PM

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency after hours,

call the South Portland Police Department at 207-799-5511.


 

Kristen Barth, Social Services Director

Paige Kombakis, Social Services Support Specialist

Laura Siciliano, Social Services Administrative Assistant

 

 

 

 

The City of South Portland Social Service department offers a General Assistance (GA) program to assist eligible residents, who are unable to provide for their household, with basic necessities. Eligibility is determined according to state overall maximums and allowances. GA is administered in accordance with the City of South Portland Ordinance and Maine State Statute, Chapter 22. The program provides confidential financial assistance to South Portland residents who are having difficulty meeting basic needs for shelter, food, non-food, fuel, utility payments, and medical expenses. General Assistance is designed to be the program of “last resort.” The department works with clients to self-sustain, utilizing a myriad of social services within Cumberland County. The program is funded by local property taxes with 70% reimbursement from the state. All assistance is granted in voucher form to local merchants. The City works with applicants to ensure that appropriate community referrals are made to support services. A listing of community resources is available on the sidebar.

Appointments:

To access General Assistance, an appointment must be made by calling 207-767-7617. You may also reach the office via email ga@southportland.org.

Appointments are generally scheduled within a week of the phone call. We do not take “walk in” appointments. A first time appointment will include a screening over the phone to ensure basic eligibility requirements are met and that the individual knows what documents/paperwork to bring to an appointment.

Appointments are generally 30 to 60 minutes long depending on the issue. It is important that you show up on-time for your appointments. If you are more than 10 minutes late, your appointment will be rescheduled as to not cause a back up with other people’s scheduled appointments. The City is required to have someone available 24 hours a day to take applications in an emergency. If this is an EMERGENCY and the office is closed, please contact South Portland Police at 207-799-5511.

The Importance of Utilizing Resources:

It is important that an applicant use their income for basic necessities. If an applicant chooses to spend their income on non-basic items, they may not be eligible for GA. Applicants must apply for and use all other resources available:

  • TANF & other DHHS programs
  • LI-HEAP
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • Subsidized Housing programs
  • Government assisted programs & community resources
  • Federal food supplements
  • Support from legally liable relatives
  • MaineCare/Medicaid/Medicare
  • Income Tax Refunds

What to Bring with you when you apply:

  • Photo Identification (for all adults in household)
  • Social Security Cards (for entire household)
  • Birth certificates (for all children in household)
  • Passport/Visa (if not a US citizen)
  • Signed lease/rental agreement
  • Bank statements for the past 30 days
  • Proof of ALL household income (paystubs, TANF, SSA award letters, child support, unemployment, etc.)
  • Medical documentation (if experiencing hardship for medical reasons)
  • Utility bills (if seeking help with them)
  • Work related expenses
  • Receipts for the past 30 days (repeat applicants only)
  • Correspondence from Social Security
  • Correspondence from Department of Health & Human Services
  • EBT card (if you have one)
  • Immigration paperwork
  • I-589 (A-receipt) (if applying for asylum)

If you have questions pertaining to social services in the area, please feel free to call us at 207-767-7617. On this webpage in the left column you will find numerous resources to assist with food, non-food, diapers, clothing, etc.

The City of South Portland Social Services thanks the businesses, organizations and volunteers in the community who reach out with a helping hand to assist those in need during the holidays and throughout the year.  Your assistance and kindness is recognized and greatly appreciated.