The proposed shelter would be built on Riverside Street. Credit: Courtesy of WGME

PORTLAND, Maine — The city of Portland has approved a new homeless shelter that will house hundreds and provide job assistance, an on-site health clinic and housing and other services.

Supporters said the Riverside Street shelter is an urgent need for Mainers because of the inadequate conditions of other shelters in the city.

The project has received some criticism from people who said the location is too far from the city’s other services. There is also a local referendum effort seeking to decrease the size of certain new shelters to 50 beds.

“This location presents significant barriers, given its remote, industrial location and distance to core public health services located on the peninsula,” state Rep. Grayson Lookner said.

But the executive director of Community Housing of Maine, Cullen Ryan, said the new shelter would grant easy and quick access to services for people experiencing homelessness.