This innovative Bangor Region YMCA program will focus on Psychosocial Wellbeing, Community and Relationships, Community Service, Educational Engagement, and Safe Spaces. The Teen Center will offer numerous programs supporting youth with a variety of needs, providing the necessary relationships, opportunities, and environment to foster mental health hygiene while providing psychological support for youth living with risk factors.
|“Gabe” is a 17-year-old Bangor teen who is homeless. They were kicked out of their home for being transgender and currently has temporary emergency overnight housing at an area shelter. Gabe became involved in the Teen Center in June 2021 because they were looking for a safe and welcoming space where they would not be a target for abuse and could be around other teens who were not necessarily in crisis or using drugs. They visit the Center approximately three times a week and reported that it’s made a huge difference in their life. “I like the Teen Center because there’s a lot of negativity in life,” Gabe said recently. “I can come here and escape the struggles that face me every day.”
The safe, equitable, and accepting atmosphere provided by the Teen Center, as well as staff support and program activities are helping Gabe avoid risk-filled situations, improve their ability to make positive life choices, gain confidence, and improve their communication skills. With the assistance of program staff, Gabe recently applied for several jobs so that they could generate some stable income and become more self-sufficient.