PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Maine city council has narrowly approved the construction of a new homeless shelter.

The Portland City Council voted 5-4 to move forward on the proposed Riverton shelter Monday. The Portland Press Herald reports that councilors plan to form a working group to discuss policies and procedures for the shelter.

Riverton residents have said the shelter would change the character of their neighborhood.

Members of the homeless community say the new shelter site's too far from the downtown service center that has counseling and an agency that hires day laborers.

Others say the 150-bed shelter would be too big.

The shelter would replace the Oxford Street Shelter, in use for the last 30 years. City officials say the converted apartment building and auto garage is unsafe and unsustainable for staff and clients.

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