For youthful offenders, the rate of recidivism is high - one third are reincarcerated within one year and half are reincarcerated within two years – without programs to support their transition into the community.  The Transformation Project, still under construction at 907 Main St in Westbrook, will offer opportunities for employment, housing, mentoring, and life skills.
Currently Ken Hawley, Founder, President & CEO of The Transformation Project, has long experience working with troubled youth in Maine. He currently works with kids at Long Creek.  Through that work in mentoring and leading bible studies, he saw people that had the potential to succeed given the right support upon release. Otherwise, it is very easy for them to fall back into old behavior patterns.
Long Creek has a culinary arts program that the kids gravitate towards. In addition, many of the kids are drawn to the creative arts and have gifts and talents in that area. The intent is to use those skills and talents in the café and event space that will be opened on Main St as part of the project.
907 Main St is designed to be a home, not a recovery center. The upstairs residence will house only males 18-24, although women will be employed in their programs. Up to 7 will live there with house parents overseeing them.  Each will have a mentor or guardian to help them with employment, obtaining driver’s licenses, and guiding them to deal with life in constructive ways.  This will be a rigorous year-long program.
Ken told us that there are models across the country that are doing most of these things. However, none are providing it all under one roof.  You can learn more about The Transformation Project, sign up for their newsletter, or make a donation at their website:
Here is the link to a recent video produced for The Transformation Project: