Credit: Courtesy of WGME

GORHAM – As more asylum seekers make their way to Portland, the city is scrambling to find suitable shelter.

Thursday night, the University of Southern Maine is stepping in to help.The school is opening up one of its 200-bed dorms on the Gorham campus, and the university’s president, Dr. Glenn Cummings, said this is a good opportunity for the school to give back.

He added that USM is not dipping into the taxpayers’ funds allocated for students.

“We’re trying to be very careful about not expending money; the taxpayers give us money for our students, and exclusively for our students. So, we’re being careful not to cross that line, but when we do have available space that’s not being used and it’s a way we can help, we feel that that’s appropriate,” Cummings said.

Cummings also said Maine’s population is static, and that in the long run, these asylum seekers will be good for the state’s economic and workforce development.