Thank you for the column (May 4) about homelessness and Community Housing of Maine. I am proud of Portland for fighting homelessness and the success of the housing-first model in ending chronic homelessness.

But the column missed an important piece of this history: the role of the 100,000 Homes Campaign and the role of the faith community, including St. Luke’s Cathedral, which served as a catalyst for making this happen.

In April 2013, I attended a conference in Toronto where the keynote speaker was Rosanne Haggerty, founder of the 100,000 Homes Campaign. With the vision that the housing-first model could be used to end chronic homelessness in cities across America, her goal was to house 100,000 homeless people by the summer of 2014, using broad coalitions that would focus on reaching the most chronically homeless (those with the highest morbidity).

Recognizing that the housing-first model was already working here, this seemed to be a perfect match for Portland. In the summer of 2013, the city signed up and the 100,000 Homes Campaign in Portland was born. The campaign put together a broad coalition that included the faith communities, social service agencies, the city, the business community, veterans organizations and others.

As a result of these efforts, Portland redirected its resources to the most chronically homeless. As in cities across the nation, this resulted in the first drop in the number of homeless people using the shelter in years, and substantial savings of resources.

The 100,000 Homes Campaign surpassed its goal and was recognized on “60 Minutes.” More importantly, Portland set its sights on truly ending chronic homelessness. The collaborative effort that made this happen laid the foundation for the coalition described in the column that is keeping this work moving ahead.

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Shambaugh

dean, St. Luke’s Cathedral

Portland