Shaw House’s Mason Place Transitional Living Program is an 8-bed residential program offering safe housing, case management, independent living skills, and a stable environment for homeless youth, who are unable to live with safe family or other support systems, in order to support them towards successful independent adulthood.
The program offers a therapeutic community, where young people are supported by caring adults, and provide support to each other as they work towards meeting their goals and independence.
It is a Friday afternoon, Chris is up and getting ready for his day. He has an appointment today. Any other day as most teenagers, he enjoys to sleep in and laze about. Today however he has an appointment with Career Compass where he will learn valuable job experience. Chris eats lunch and socializes with his peers in the program. He jokes and laughs and the milieu is filled with chatting teenagers about what their days will be filled with and the meals they are preparing for themselves.
If we take a look back a little more than a year, Chris had just moved in to the Mason Place. Chris was no stranger to adversity, as he had most definitely had his share. It took many weeks of consistency and a lot of different strategies to finally get Chris away from shrugging as an answer to every question. It started slowly, coming out for dinners, watching movies, and eventually he began talking and formulating plans with his case manager for his future.
He joined the Carleton Project, the on-site school at Shaw House, and we found how smart he was. He quickly found his niche in school as the “computer dude.” He was a talented writer and overall he was a very smart young man. Though a procrastinator like many teenagers he finished high school this past spring earning his High School Diploma. Chris is now moving on to Eastern Maine Community College where he will transfer all that “computer dude” technology in to an Associate’s Degree in to Computer Technology and Repair.
Though Chris has had a few set-backs in his stay in Mason Place and hasn’t always gotten everything right in his adventure in finding his way, he certainly has flourished and learned to utilize the program to its full potential. No longer that timid young man, but a strong individual who is ready to embrace his future and take on the next step, he is to transition to the EMCC campus in a few short weeks and is looking forward to Career Compass and possibly work study through the school. Chris always wishes to go on to a four year degree in the future. He looks forward to moving out of the state and traveling. Chris may have had a shaky start in life with his fair share of trials but he certainly does have a bright future with so many accomplishments already completed.