- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Sen. Susan Collins said during a visit to a youth homeless shelter with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro that it’s refreshing to hear directly from program participants after spending so much time in Washington poring over budget numbers and statistics.

The pair visited New Beginnings’ Ann Geiger Center in Lewiston on Friday to give Castro a look at efforts to combat youth homelessness in Maine. They also attended a forum focusing on public housing.

Collins said she’s been inspired by the New Beginnings program.

One of the alumni of the program, Brittany Dixon, was invited by Collins to testify before her transportation, housing and urban development appropriations subcommittee in April. With help from the program, Dixon is now a college graduate who aims to become a kindergarten teacher.

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