April 09, 2020

Biddeford woman offered free apartment

BIDDEFORD — A homeless woman, who refuses to go to a shelter, has been offered a free apartment — complete with utilities.

Rory Holland of Biddeford says he was once homeless so he understands Diane Fields’ situation. “I remember the basements I slept in. I remember the hallways I was roused out of,” he said Wednesday.

Holland now owns the vacant apartment and wants to help.

Meanwhile, many residents feel the city has hardly been helpful to Fields, who lives on a corner on Main Street.

Downtown business owners had sent the mayor and police chief a petition asking them to get her off the streets. So a few weeks ago, City Manager Bruce Benway ordered her belongings picked up and taken to the public works garage.

Police arrested Fields on New Year’s night for trespassing at a Main Street business.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday night, several residents spoke out against the city’s actions.

Joanne Twomey said she was appalled at how the city handled the situation.

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