Onward Transitions Announces Immediate, Short-Term Housing Option for New Admissions
Portland, ME – Onward Transitions, a community-based mental health program serving emerging adults learning to live independently, has always been a non-residential option for young people seeking treatment for mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and executive functioning challenges. The program recently purchased a single-family home approximately one mile from Pine House, Onward’s multipurpose center for service delivery of therapy, coaching, meals, and community gatherings. Two of the program’s co-founders described how Onward is meeting a need while staying true to its mission.
Called “the Guest House,” co-founder and lead clinician Darrell Fraize, M.Ed., LCPC, LADC said, “Think one part New England cottage, one part youth hostel, one part Air BnB.” Fraize added, “We’re continuing our tradition of reminding folks that our clients never live with us, while at the same time creating an easier and more developmentally appropriate transition into the program and the city itself.” Fraize reported past challenges helping families under immense time and logistical pressures that led potential clients to choose another program due to the effort often required to find an appropriate apartment. “Now, for a short period of time, a new program member can stay at the Guest House, immediately begin to work with us at the Guest House and Pine House, benefit from all of our services and our community, and be an experiential learner in the process of finding a place to live.”
Co-founder and executive director Tracy Bailey explained that “the Guest House gives members and their families the option to come directly from wilderness, another program, college, or home immediately. We’ve seen the housing market become more of a challenge since the start of the pandemic, and we felt this was a great way to solve that problem. We also see ourselves in a unique position to help teach emerging adults the skills of apartment hunting while shifting more responsibility onto them to work with us, rather than onto their parents. All of which is consistent with our founding philosophy and organizational values.”
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.