Finding A Way

Teenagers and young adults in Maine face challenges that are increasingly difficult to navigate. They or someone in their family may struggle with substance use disorder, homelessness or gender identity. There’s the ever-looming issue of trying to pay for college, finding a good-paying job and trying to make good choices when times get tough. In our series “Finding A Way,” Maine Public will examine some barriers to success for young people and the resources and opportunities available to keep them on course.

This project is funded with support from the John T. Gorman Foundation.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

“I crashed at friends’ houses for a while. It was a job to find a place to sleep. I slept under bridges, slept in my car when I could...it was, really, whatever I could come up with that day. I’d wake up and my goal would be to find a place to sleep the next day... It made me feel weak, like I wasn’t as good as everyone else because I couldn’t figure it out, I couldn’t figure out how to not be homeless.”

Courtesy Photo

The John T. Gorman Foundation says Maine should do a better job of helping at-risk teens complete the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

In a report released Tuesday, the foundation recommends creating a “comprehensive, coordinated, flexible and youth-centered continuing of care,” for teens at risk due to poverty, homelessness, or who have already done something to place them in the juvenile justice system.