January 22, 2018
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Comments for: Portland teen homeless shelter gets national attention for not demanding sobriety to access programs

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  • hey-I’m-your-man

    Its nice to see kids wanting to turn their life around. We all need a chance, just some of us need a few extra – and thats ok as long as their is progress.

    • Anonymous

      it ‘ there’ not their

      • Anonymous

        it”s their life.The pronominal adjective is proper usage.

        • Anonymous

          It’s, not “it”s” (apostrophe, not a quotation mark). :-)

          • Anonymous

            you got me on that one fer sure!

          • Harry H Snyder III

            Capitalize “Y” in you.

            Just kidding!!

        • me in me

          I think morningcoffee1 was refering to ..as long as their is progress…

  • Anonymous

    I have been a long time supporter of the Unconditional Care model adopted from the Browndale Schools Model that came out of Canada. In one of my previous incarnations I worked for a 501 C 3 non profit called Communities For People. The philosophy is simple.
    You reject the behaviour not the person. You run with the person regardless of their
    behaviour. Of all the so called Mental Wealth treatment models I have seen this one seems
    to have the best results. Of course this model was the hardest one for me to learn.
    Have you ever practiced Unconditional Love, eh?

    see   http://junecdennis.multiply.com/?&show_interstitial=1&u=

    • Anonymous

      I hear you.  And yes, I have practiced unconditional love, having taken in a handful of homeless young folk.  It is amazing what a little kindness can do, for both the homeless and for me.

    • Harry H Snyder III

      I like to think of it as the Worcester Main South model.  I don’t know when Browndale advanced their idea, but Community Advancement Program was practicing this model from 1973, when Massachusetts closed the last of their reform schools to 1980 when Governor Ed King took over.

      Your point is good and the results of this program (in Massachusetts) was a lower crime rate in Worcester for a decade.

  • So very impressed with your policy!Thank you for helping all these individuals! It’s about time someone understood and the results are amazing!

    • Anonymous

       It’s disturbing that the State is leaving it to private agencies to address this problem, rather than the child welfare system taking a more active interest in cases in which kids are homeless.

      • Harry H Snyder III

        The “child welfare system” hasn’t worked for these particular children for a very long time.  To survive the child welfare system you must be docile, obedient, and very very patient.  These qualities are often not found in teenagers. 

        Through the year 2011 private vendors have done most of the “child welfare” in the State of Maine.   Machias a town of 5,000 has 22 private social service agencies selling services (exclusively) to the D.H.H.S.

  • And many of them need help! Hope that life eventually teaches you some compassion!

  • Have you even read this?  By accepting these teens, and allowing them to be who they are, this program is helping them better.  These teens needs to have a chance to become better citizens, and to be productive in their lives.  This seems to work, as the teems realizes that by being accepted and get the true help they need, they see a brighter future for themselves.  This program is saving the City and State money, by not placing a lot of barriers on them.  Which means your tax dollars are being use for something good.  We all gone through a rough upbringing, and most have made it and became better despite of it.  Some just don’t, as they rebel more.  By having a program that takes them in, and shows them they do matter, and allowing them to see what their lives is,  and show them the way to change it for the better, they are more likely to make a effort to get their lives in order.  Don’t be negative about a place where these kids can make a difference in their lives.  Whether they come from out of State or what, at least they have a place to live and get the needed help they deserve.  

    • L A

      I don’t mind putting my taxes to something that is helping our teenagers with setting goals and achieving the goals of self sufficiency!  Social Services does have some waste however is why people are upset.  I have seen how it helps ,however!  What we really need to focus on is not spending any more money on war!  And bring jobs back to the USA so that parents who are struggling can raise productive children.  Ever issue surrounding crime, drugs, alcoholism etc..  is a byproduct of living an oppressed life.  The bigger issues need to be solved before others fall into place.  Continue using my tax dollars to shelter these teens, keep them safe, and education with job placement!  That will speak volumes.

    • Guest

      One of the two girls is being real productive….  

      And I’m willing to bet these were the best examples they could come up with.

      • Harry H Snyder III

        I’m always interested in new ideas, especially when dealing with teenage children.  Please tell us what you would do with these young people?? 

        ….and your answer below is you would do nothing…. Thought so!

        • Guest

          I would do nothing. 

          Let the bleeding hearts waste their time and resources trying to “help” kids who don’t want the help and who will manipulate and use them to continue their self destructive  behaviors.  

          Eventually they will get a clue and “fix” themselves or not.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting. I’m glad they’ve found a method that works for them and the community. Any improvements and innovations should be welcomed!

  • Anonymous

    Try reading the article before spouting off. Seems that they bring the teens in and work on improving their behavior and their lives. Most places don’t use that method, but Preble Street does and it appears to be very effective for them.

    It’s naive to claim that all these kids need is sheer force of will. That’s only part of the equation.

    • Anonymous

      It’s NOT “sheer force of will” that the kids need ,  it’s disicipline and clear boundries that they need and in most cases WANT..Allowing them to continue their destuctive behavior can’t help much…Having no income means they are still selling their body for booze and drugs even if they have a place to crash…I’m sure that makes the perverts in the area happy..They know where to get their fix as well…Just say’in…

      • Anonymous

        But that’s not what’s happening. You’re not “just say’in”, you’re just assuming.
         
        Their policy is that they don’t turn the teens away. So the alternative that you’re suggesting is worse, as the article states. Most places would turn them away — so what are the options for a homeless teen in that case? Accept the physical and sexual abuse, legal trouble, family crises and twiddle their thumbs in the mean time before being allowed the services and aid? You aren’t being realistic.

        • Anonymous

          Did I say turn them away or are YOU just “assuming” that ?? Once there they SHOULD NOT be allowed to to continue their destructive behavior…They don’t need more adults “letting them down”…

          • Harry H Snyder III

            I came back form some sever alcoholism as an adult.  AA didn’t judge, nor did they “force me to change” That would not have worked, because I (like these children) was not mandated to stay with AA. I could leave anytime I wished.  that freedom to leave made me stay. 

            This coming November I will celebrate 35 years of sobriety.  Thirty-five years of being a productive tax-paying citizen.  I do not begrudge these young people the same chance.  I’m even willing to support it.

          • Anonymous

            Congratulations on your 35 years of sobriety.

          • Anonymous

            ANONYMITY AT THE LEVEL OF PRESS, RADIO AND FILM

          • Harry H Snyder III

            For others in the group.  Self disclosed identity to promote sobriety is permitted.

            35 years… read ALL the rules!

          • Anonymous

            That’s by choice. he isn’t talking about anyone else.

             AA should be proud and happy to have people come out as friends of Bill. We’re not 15 ducking the cops anymore.

             “Anonymity”?  Sheeeesh..

          • Anonymous

            AA is a great program for the few that it helps. Lot more credibility if they would lose ONE LITTLE WORD

             95%, recidivism.

             By all means dispute me. If so, I suggest you show me some pretty convincing evidence.

             I’ve been on both sides of the desk and dealt with my own addiction for 30 years.

          • Harry H Snyder III

            Don’t care….worked for me.

          • Anonymous

            And i’m glad it did. I’m just a realist.

      • Anonymous

        And my guess is those perverts who are availing themselves of these teens were once teens who were thrown away themselves.  Clear boundaries my aunt Betty.  These kids are where they are because adults in their life let them down.  Just sayin’….

      • Guest

        Notice how “productive” one of their shining examples is.

      • Anonymous

        Either you dont have any children, or your children are grown and you havent had teenagers in the house in a long time, cause the world has changed.  Discipline and boundaries might have worked 20 years ago, but it doesnt any longer.  These kids are wiser to the system, which protects them greatly, and rebellious to any form of discipline that will infringe upon what THEY want to do at the moment.  It truly offends me when people comment when they have obviously never been through raising a teen in this day and age.

  • Anonymous

    Your attitude is what is truly gross.

  • Anonymous

    (Mat 23:26) Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  
    Meaning: clean up the internal problems that are causing the need for drinking as a way to eliminate the effect of external relief manifested in drunkeness and other outward signs (piercings, etc.) of revolution against the norms of civilized behavior. If it’s done the other way around it is truly only cosmetic.

    (Mat 23:27) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

    •  I prefer the gospel according to Luke where Yoda says, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

      • Anonymous

        looks to me like they are doing

  • Anonymous

    Governor LePage is but one example…

  • Anonymous

    Are they really taking in kids running from the law?  If so that is just promoting crime by giving them a safe haven to hang out at while the fuzz is looking for them.  

    • Harry H Snyder III

      No “safe haven for these children…..ANYWHERE!

  • Harry H Snyder III

    It is long past time that “teen shelters” took in teenagers “NO MATTER THEIR CONDITION” In the 1980’s the Portland Press Herald used to run pictures of teenagers sleeping on benches down at Deering Oaks. I remember one 13-year-old fugitive from a residential treatment center who used to eat out of the McDonald’s dumpster down on St. John Street. Another child lived in a burned out house on Cumberland Avenue.

    Sorry that it took so long to get here.  Happy that it finally has.

  • Anonymous

    Two kids at 20 years old? Take responsibility for your actions. Also put a cork in it so a third kid doesn’t come along for our sake! Taxpayers can’t pay for these services anymore!! 

    • Harry H Snyder III

      You can be forgiven for your statement.  Most folks don’t see or want to see these children.  Most “taxpayers” would rather not know that often these young girls were raped, sometimes by family members.  Most ‘good decent people” have no idea how dysfunctional a “home” can become.

      It takes time to get to know these young people.  they don’t talk easily many don’t trust adults / sometimes with good reason. If you finally break through all of that, you find that they are not much different than your own children… some of the same hopes, many of the same goals… Think (if you can) how would yout 12, 13, 14 year old do if suddenly, unexpectedly, they had no family, no support, and no friends. Maybe they would find their way to someplace like The Lighthouse shelter. I am guessing that you would prefer that to the pedophiles who prey on street children.

      I consider myself a conservative,  I don’t like paying for work-able adults, and I don’t like financing ever bigger government.  In fact Preble Street is one of the few social service organizations worth lots more than the meager tax money they get.

      So try to reconsider.  Think about young children down on their luck. Maybe you can see your way clear to send the place a sawbuck. 

    • Anonymous

      These kids or young adults are looking for help.Don’t slam the door on their face,it is easier  and less taxing when they are young,then trying to do this after a lifetime of dependency.

    • Anonymous

      I’m ashamed for the eight people that agree with you.

       

  • Anonymous

    To those making negative statements:  Do you realize you’re talking about children?  Children who probably have never been given a chance or had anyone protect them, love them, or believe them.  These are damaged children!  They need our love, our support and deserve a safe place to stay while they try and better themselves.  You’re adults, where’s your empathy?

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps they would understand it from this perspective…

      These children came from dysfunctional families and never learned how to be a functional adult. If we do not help them, they will not have a chance at becoming a functional adult and will thus depend on social services as adults. 

      In other words, helping them now will save money. 

      • Anonymous

        Some come from dysfunctional homes – others come from homes that set limits and put expectations on their children in order for them to be able to live in their world.  Some kids run away from home because there are places like this that will allow them to do just what they want whenever they want.  Not saying that this is the majority but certainly a place that lets kids drink do drugs have sex whenever and wherever they want, not go to school etc.  is very appealing to kids this age.

        My sisters daughter went to a shelter in Rockland much like this when she was 15 — she was rebelling terribly.  She refused to come home — she had a boyfriend at the shelter and was allowed to sleep with him — he was 19 and she was told that she couldn’t date him by her parents.  She found a way through the use of the shelter.  Now at 22 she has a child from this relationship (born when she was 17 years old) she has gotten her certification in the field she wished to work in with the help of her parents and is working, taking some college courses and living on her own (her mother takes care of her child while she is working and going to school) She says now that she can’t believe that she gave up all that time and her high school years to sit at a shelter because of a guy (that she is no longer with)

        Isn’t drinking illegal at 13? If they were at a high school party or picked up driving wouldn’t there be consequences? To condone this behavior as an accepted why of society is just wrong at this age. But, again its something that will draw kids that need a safe place to stay in — however probably many kids that have a safe place but want no restrictions on them will come too.

  • Anonymous

    Dealing with addictions and mental illness require support services that have been continually reduced in this country since the 1980s.  The result is that in a 2008-09 survey approximately 1 in 200 Americans was homeless for some period of time during the 12 month study.  And the incarceration rate in the United States remains the highest in the world.  What I want is a system that treats the causes and helps in recovery, not just institutionalization of anyone with a problem.  
    People living with homelessness live shorter lives and spend more on publicly funded services than people who can be helped back onto their feet.
    Shame on those who simply say “make them do it”, you just don’t understand the problem or the hurdles that need to be overcome to bring people back to being self supporting individuals.

  • Stacy

    They missed discussing Hope House in Bangor as very low barrier. BAHS has much stricter policies-(its a great shelter, but not low barrier).  Hope house however takes those that no one else takes. Otherwise, excellent article

  • When I lived at the LightHouse homeless shelter some 20 years ago, it was just a place to stay for the night. Not much help was offered. The Preble street Resource center on the other hand was a place to go to keep warm, get some coffee, and mabey if needed a warm jacket. It had many other features to, but to numerous to list. We had a teen center, but it at that time was on I think forest ave. There we ate lunch, and hung out for a while. but all in all, not much progress was ever made with teens. I am glad to hear that things have changed since then.

  • Harry H Snyder III

    I’m surprised at your comment.. Your screen-name describes perfectly the odds against street children.  They are David.

  • Giving up on the kids will not help them, I believe we should give them all the help we can to achive their goals and become productive in their lives. I know from experince that without support from people it is easy to follow a wrong path in life. Luckly I had that support growing up from my family.

  • Harry H Snyder III

    Some folks might say that perfume, flowery hats and polyester pant-suits are gross.

    Adults used to get on my back about my motorcycle boots and black leather jackets…   Just made me a hardcore wearer of same. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious, does it appear to anyone else that some use the real name in order to perhaps gain some form of acclaim? 

     What i’m saying is giving your true name with an endorsement of a program doesn’t impress me. Anybody else? I don’t know who you are and I certainly wouldn’t bother to search for info.

     By the way, I hope we keep moving in this direction.Identifying the problem is the first step. The direction to take, follows.

    • Stacy

      what is this in reference too thrillmetothemarrow? The real name/true name of what?

      • Anonymous

        A few use first and last names, not just first  Comment as though they are THE authority on a subject.

  • Kitchell

    sounds like if they let them stay high, they are easier to deal with. this is just skirting the problem. these children need structure and someone to tell them that drugs are wrong.

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