The Day One facility in Hinckley is currently home to 11 Maine teenage boys.
They’ll live there for 6 months and receive intensive substance abuse and mental health counseling.
Brian Sullivan was there Tuesday when Congressman Bruce Poliquin toured the home to learn more about the work being done, and how to help.
“Usually they come in here and they’re not positive they want to change their substance use and they have strained relationships with their family and they have a lot of criminal thinking and those are typically the three things that we noticed huge improvement in” said Program Director Joanne Grant.
18 year-old Kyle Hendrickson has been here for 2 months now.
“I was in Long Creek for a little bit then I went to another day one program in Hollis then I got kicked out of there then they gave me another opportunity to turn things around and here I am putting effort in in treatment” said Kyle.
He and his housemates showed the congressman around.
explaining what each day entails.
“My heart goes out to these kids because they’re trying very hard the counselors care about them and they feel that” said Poliquin.
“We see very significant issues among our youth in Maine and some come here and have been using opiates and there are withdrawals and then we have kids that you know have a less significant history but we are intervening like you just mentioned early enough to kind of stop it in its tracks” said Grant.
The boys go to school each day, including the summer.
They build relationships, and trust.
“That came over time cause at first I didn’t really talk that much I didn’t open up to many people but now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with the staff and some of the kids here I’ve just been more talkative to them” said Hendrickson.
“They’re here and they know they need help and they are getting help but I really am worried about them when they get out how they can make sure they stay on a healthy path” said Poliquin
That healthy path can be difficult to follow, particularly for a young person who, after their 6 months at day one, is reintroduced to the same environment that landed them in trouble to begin with..
“Support when they get out from families or friends or out patient treatments. It’s connected to well being as they’ve learned here and they also need an opportunity to further education and to be employed. It’s an emergency I recognize that and we are pushing congress very hard to recognize this is an emergency not just in Maine or the 2nd District, or New England, but the whole country” said Poliquin.