New program gives homeless teens second chance

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Nate Labrecque has called the Preble Street Shelters in Portland home for the past three years. After losing his mom as a young child and other family living situations failing him, he ended up on the streets. He had no money for a place of his own so a fold up chair at the shelter would have to do.

“The longer I was there the more I just really wanted to get out of there, but I couldn’t,” said Labrecque.

“The program is really about identifying those youth that are really ready to take that next step they are doing everything they can and they’re doing all the right stuff, but they need the extra support,” said First Place Transitional Housing Supervisor, Charlotte DeTroy.

The program provides the youth with a security deposit for an apartment and furniture. They are expected to pay a certain percentage of the rent each month until they can eventually take over the lease within a 12 to 18 month time period. A case worker helps the youth with budgeting, monitors their financial decisions and gives them the support and guidance they need.

Labrecque has been living in his apartment since the summer and continues to show the program is a success.

“I just opened up a bank account and have started putting money into savings,” said Labrecque.

For more information about the program or the Preble Street Shelters click here.