All Kinds of News for December 09, 2020
Portland, ME. - In November, Onward Transitions, a community-based therapeutic program, purchased a 4,600 square foot building to better serve its emerging adult clients. The new property includes a commercial kitchen space and large dining area, 1,400 square foot multi-purpose room, large therapy offices, green and private outdoor space, accessibility to bus routes and bike paths, and ample off-street parking. “It really checked all the boxes we had been looking for in our search before the pandemic,” stated co-founder and lead clinician Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC. “But more specifically, this building should give us the best opportunity to continue mask-to-mask services as we head into this very difficult winter,” he added. Fraize cited the three separate HVAC systems and 32 windows “naturally arranged for cross-ventilation” as instrumental to the decision to buy the property. “The social distance we can create in both the huge group room and individual therapy offices was incredibly important to us as we made the final decision.”
The building, across the Fore River and looking at Portland’s downtown, on Main Street in South Portland, was formerly home to Mad Science (an afterschool and summer camp program) and the USDA. Onward Transitions staff and private contractors will be making minor cosmetic renovations to the building, and hope to move in shortly after the start of the New Year. Fraize reported that when he discussed this change with clients (referred to as “members” at the program) “after the initial grieving of moving on from our current spaces they were like ‘Can we help?’ They quickly wanted to get involved in laying down flooring, and painting walls, and even in moving furniture. We hope to incorporate that energy into our moving process.”
For members without cars, Fraize reported that the program has outfitted their vehicles with plastic barriers, HEPA air purifiers, and the removal of middle row seating, all to aid with safer “in-house” shuttles as opposed to public transportation options. “Originally, we thought we could take our time to prepare and transition into this new space. Given the reality of the COVID pandemic, those plans have obviously changed and we are moving forward much more quickly.”
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.