A state-funded halfway house for young men leaving the juvenile detention facility in South Portland is scheduled to open in March.
The Portland residence is designed to house six young men between the ages of 18 and 21 as they make the transition from the Long Creek Youth Development Center into the community. The nonprofit Opportunity Alliance will run the program, which is funded by the Department of Corrections.
Opportunity Alliance President and CEO Michael Tarpinian says the transitional home is intended for people who don't have a safe place to return to and would not do well after being released without support.
“It's not unusual for some of the youth who have been spending time at long creek to fall into that situation where either parental activity or examples just does not lend itself for them to return,” says Tarpinian.
Tarpinian says the focus for residents will be secondary or post-secondary education, learning how to live independently with supports they may need, and finding employment.
“Everything that you, as a parent, would want your child who's at the age of 18 and 21, you would want for them. We certainly are supporting and want for the residents of this facility.”
Tarpinian says the facility will have trained staff on duty 24 hours aday, seven days a week.