Onward Transitions in Portland, ME employs an autonomous model for emerging adults in the final stages of learning to live on their own by supporting actual, sustainable independent living and autonomy from two locations in Portland, Maine.
Onward Transitions is not a residential program. Participants (members) never live with us. Members live in their own apartments, throughout the city. We are not a recovery program nor do we provide acute care. We work with families to locate an apartment based on their personal preferences and resources in the neighborhood of their choice in Portland, Maine.
Members gather for therapy, services and activities at two OT locations. The Pine House is in a residential neighborhood bordering the campus of the University of Southern Maine. The Hay Loft is a suite of offices and common areas in the arts district of Portland. Both are easily accessible by public transportation, although about half the participants have their own cars.
Members are between the ages of 18-30 and most are between 19-24. Member challenges include mild to moderate anxiety, depression and/or executive functioning challenges. Most have tried to live independently, perhaps at college, but were not successful. Admission is highly selective and requires a commitment to practicing kindness and tolerance in the program and in the greater Portland community. Space is limited to 14 members.
Therapists provide weekly individual, family work and group therapy. Multiple weekly group sessions include budgeting, nutrition food labs, fitness, mindfulness, social interaction, cooking and studying are lead by therapists and our talented team of program coordinators.
Each member has their own schedule. Living independently, members are working on the goals they have established with their therapist. Breakfast through dinner the Pine House and the Hay Loft have a steady flow of activity as members come for therapy, appointments, groups, meal prep, 2 meals 6 days a week, and drop-ins. Friday night is dinner out with staff. Saturdays bring apartment consultations and special weekend activities. Public transportation is easily accessed from both the Pine House and the Office. About half of the members have their own car. Some have a pets.
Neighbors is offered to qualified Pine House members as they transition beyond full-service membership at the Pine House. Having established residency in Portland, Maine and successfully engaged in school, community and/or work, members no longer need the full clinical and coaching services, meals and drop-in advantages of the Pine House. Onward Transitions Neighbors meet weekly with their therapist at our Exchange St. Office and engage with our Wellness and Program Director throughout the week. They are also invited to regularly scheduled activities with Pine House members.
Onward Transitions services are contracted quarterly with a minimum three month commitment. Most members are with us for 9-12 months. Onward Transitions and Neighbors are private pay and do not work with insurance companies.
We’ve learned that the most successful member has experienced or demonstrates some or most of the following:
- Is an emerging adult between 18-30 years old. Most members are between 19 and 24.
- Is managing mild to moderate anxiety, depression and/or executive functioning challenges.
- Is not a substance abuser and if deemed appropriate is willing to work from a harm reduction model.
- Has likely lived away from home, at college or in an apartment, but was not able to manage all of the responsibility and has some insight into what support they need.
- Is compliant and stable on medication and mostly manages them independently.
- Is both tolerant and kind.
- Is willing and able to engage socially, longs for friendship and is open to coaching from our staff.
- Can get out of bed and mostly keep appointments.
- Has a recommendation from their referral source or a current therapist that they are ready to pursue some form of independent living.
- Can navigate public transportation or manage their own car.
- Is willing to commit to a 12 month stay in Portland.