All Kinds of News for August 12, 2020
Despite the challenges of being an emerging adult living during a pandemic, Onward Transitions members are continuing to maintain jobs in Portland, Maine. With unemployment rates for young people nationwide hovering around 25%¹, cofounder and Executive Director Tracy Bailey reported that eight of the ten members of Onward Transitions living in Portland are working important jobs out in the community, while two are in school full-time. “We are extremely proud of the work our members are doing to manage their lives, their wellness and their contributions to the community,” stated Bailey. “Some are working nearly full-time in banking, food service, essential retail and delivery positions, and report maintaining the same level of diligence with COVID prevention that we have modeled here in the program for them.”
“Our members have done a fantastic job keeping balance in their lives as they cope with anxiety, while compelling themselves to safely remain connected to the outside world,” added cofounder and Lead Clinician Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC. “They have figured out how to best protect themselves from the virus while simultaneously protecting themselves from self-isolating. They see themselves as important contributors to the city here by providing valuable roles for essential services, and in turn, they exercise independent judgment through a very real ‘exposure’ into adulting.”
Staying connected to the world through work may be an important factor in battling pandemic-exacerbated mental health issues with anxiety and depression reported Fraize. A recent CDC survey found that 47% of people under the age of 30 are struggling with loneliness², but that work provides a valuable social environment for young adults to experience the stimulation of human interaction.
About Onward Transitions
Onward Transitions (OT) in Portland, ME is a small, independent, owner-operated program for bright, motivated, emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own. OT supports actual sustainable independent living and autonomy from two city locations. Participants (members) ages 18-29 never live with us; they live in their own apartments, scattered throughout the city. Members' challenges include anxiety, depression and executive functioning.