Louise Montgomery (1913-1992) founded Friendship House for homeless men in 1985. She and her husband, Claude Montgomery, an artist, used their life savings to purchase the building, which was in poor condition.
She arranged to have inmates from Cumberland County Jail rehabilitate the building.It openedin 1990. The shelter evolved into a transitional program where men could reside for an average of four to six weeks. Montgomery used the remembrances offered after her husband’s death in 1991 to start Faith House at 256 State Street as transitional housing for homeless mothers with children. Friendship House relocated to South Portland in 2003 and serves as a house of recovery from substance abuse for men. Faith House Woman’s Shelter also relocated to South Portland but later closed. The Brackett Street house was purchased by Volunteers of America in 2004 and serves as a home for men with severe mental disability.