The Northern Lighthouse Launches Transitional Living Program
MARS HILL, Maine (WAGM) -
The Northern Lighthouse, the county’s only youth homeless shelter has launched a new program aimed at preparing teens for adulthood. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.
“It’s unfortunate that this is a need, but it is a growing need”
Blake Hatt, Chief Operations Officer for The Northern Lighthouse describes the non-profit’s efforts to shelter and support the homeless youth of Aroostook County. Since 2001, The Northern Lighthouse has served as the county’s first and only emergency shelter for homeless youth ages 10 to 17. At the beginning of the year a new program was launched, targeting a slightly different age demographic with a specific goal in mind.
“Our Transitional Living Program, we’re servicing youth ages 16 to 21, that’s a more long term option, so they can stay with us for up to 18 months and in that time were really looking and locking on like “Okay, what do you need for educational supports? have you finished school? What do you need to do that? If you have finished school what’s our next steps? Do you want help and support accessing volunteering with the community? Seeking employment, post secondary education even.” We’re here to really support all those efforts and meet our youth where their at so that way they can build that foundation for adulthood.”
Hatt says the program is still finding it’s footing, but it needs to be a community effort to be successful. The program works with local businesses to help the teens with employment or obtaining job skills.
“We just opened our transitional living program in January and we are in the process of going through referrals and taking in youth who are looking for our services. This is a community effort, this is Aroostook county’s youth needing this support and our goal is for this to be a community wide effort to support the youth that we are working with.”
Another way the Northern Lighthouse is looking to involve the community is through a bottle drive in March and bowling tournament in May to benefit the youth homeless shelter and transitional living program.
“Anything to help your community is always very, very important. Whether that be a small donation or contributing in a way like playing in the bowling tournament. Everything that we do here is based on grants and donors so all the money that comes in goes right to here” says Brooke Sullivan – Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator, The Northern Lighthouse
“We’re bringing it full circle by supporting homeless youth and giving them a place to stay and be safe, have supportive staff and supportive people and community around them to help them build a foundation for their next steps into adulthood.” says Hatt.
For more information on the Northern Lighthouse, The transitional living program, or their upcoming events visit: https://tnlh.org/
Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8
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