Submitted Summaries of Programs (Reviews)
Between April 10 and April 16 (Review Summaries):
Submit your review summary for your assigned program via the “Submit Your Summary link below. Once it is submitted, it will appear on the list below the link. You are free to read other summaries that have been submitted at this point, but comments will not open until April 17.
Between April 17 and May 1 (Evaluations):
Homeless Youth Outreach Program
Kennebec Behavioral Health
KBH works with youth experiencing homelessness, provides services that address their needs, connects them to other services and assists them in finding safe and stable housing in Somerset and Kennebec Counties. It is estimated that there are more than 2,000 youth ages 12 – 24 who are homeless on any given night in Maine. When case managers contact a youth they first address basic needs (food, water, shelter and clothing) then work on assisting the homeless youth to find and access services to help them find safe, stable housing, medical/dental services and any other needs they have. Youth who are eligible are assisted to apply for Maine Care, TANIF, and food stamps. Once the youth qualify for Maine Care KBH can bill for services to help sustain the program. The youth program works with families when it is an option to try to re connect the youth with a family member to ensure they have stable housing. The program has a 98% rate of assisting youth with services and on the average assist 50 homeless youth a year meeting their goal. Successes range from helping a teen get back home with their family or other safe housing to get them off the streets, out of sleeping in the woods or couch surfing, going back or staying in school to graduate, getting a license or job so they can help to support themselves and many other life changing accomplishments. Last year two of their participants graduated college, a huge success. Some of the youth they have assisted through the program are now in safe environments and/or on their own now volunteer in special events they hold or help facilitate meetings to speak to youth on their struggles and accomplishments as they participated in the program.
Site Visit/Phone Conversation Notes:
KBH experienced a major challenge in 2018 when the State put the adult homeless outreach services (PATH) previously awarded to them out to bid. The State only received one bid and once again put it back out to bid. During this time KBH was given an extension to continue the program but they lost some staff due to the unstable funding. KBH was awarded the contract for Somerset and Kennebec Counties in February 2019. During this time the services for homeless youth continued to be provided and remaining staff worked together to cover services. They are now staffing back up to be able to continue services and allow the seasoned staff time to get back to their regular schedule.
When talking with the Directors and counselors during our visit I was impressed with the time and effort they put in to reach out and connect with our homeless youth. They shared stories of struggling teens who were part of the program and how far they have come. When we think of homeless youth often comes to mind is they ran away and left home but this is not always the case. Many leave because of parent drug addiction, physical abuse, death of a family member or they are unwanted at home. With the huge homeless population and opiate crisis we have now and the lack of programs or housing for the homeless this program is so needed. Reaching 45-50 youth a year and encouraging them to share their experiences with others to help those experiencing the same or similar situations is life saving and life changing.
Reaching out to youth and going where they are vs an office style counseling which can be intimidating., Involving the youth in sharing what they have experienced with other homeless youth to encourage them to move forward., Assisting youth in obtaining other services including Maine Care so they can bill for services extending the program budget to cover expenses., The homeless youth clients are often on the move couch surfing when they make the initial contact, often they gather at various locations for the homeless and discuss what they have found for help. The youth counselor has a great connection with the youth already participating in the program and often has to search for them to follow up. Due to his reputation the often untrusting population is helpful in his search.
The loss of some of their staff as they were waiting for the State to end the bid process, but they now are training new staff to replace the ones who moved on.
Wanda Steward agrees that this program aligns with Health, as indicated on the application.
This program has requested $5,000.
Wanda Steward’s Recommendation: Definitely Fund for $5,000
Recommendations and Comments
Definitely Fund = No question, UWMM should fund this program.
Maybe Fund = I think UWMM should fund this program, but I have outstanding questions.
Maybe Don’t Fund = I don’t think UWMM should fund this program, because I have outstanding concerns.
Don’t Fund = UWMM should not fund this program.
Rachel GrantMaybe Fund
Leon Duff/Ann LindemanDefinitely Fund
Jackie DaltonDefinitely Fund
Rick DorianDefinitely Fund
Susan RoyDefinitely Fund
Michelle CesareDefinitely Fund
Cheryl flewellingDefinitely Fund
This program sounds like a good bridge to other services.
James WoodDefinitely Fund
Robert DahlgrenMaybe Fund
Important services – no question about that, and some clear impact for the good. Would like to hear more about why the State decided to put the contract out for bid in 2018. Was that a concern over capability or some other requirement that’s not quality related? $5000 seems a relatively small amount for a service of this size. There are other sources of funding – what does the UWMM money provide that the program wouldn’t otherwise receive?
George ColemanDefinitely Fund