Finding A Way

Brett Plymale / For Maine Public

Maine has received more than $3 million in federal grant funding to study youth homelessness and find new strategies to address the problem.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for Maine youth ages 10 to 24, and the rate of suicides among Maine's youth is higher than the national average.

Brunswick High School is responding to the problem with a new program that trains students to raise awareness and be a resource for peers. Maine Public reporter Patty Wight visited the student training Thursday as part of our ongoing series Finding a Way.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/grindfreak/

Teens and older youth in the foster care system often face the additional challenge of having to prepare to live independently. We'll learn about the difficulties and opportunities for these young people.

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Almost one in five children in Maine lives in poverty. What can be done to break this cycle? We’ll learn about a new initiative that seeks to address the challenges of childhood poverty on many levels.

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.