By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,671)
Under a cloak of secrecy, the Foundation House has purchased and taken up occupancy at numerous buildings in the Preble Street/Kennebec Street area of Bayside over the past few years. All done very quietly and under the radar. Foundation House purports to be a campus that provides transition services for young men from 18 years to 35 years who are transitioning from addiction rehab into a world unknown to them and for which many are ill-prepared to survive in. “A hub of the sober community” according to one staff member.
Back in 2012, the Foundation House hit controversy when it set up three houses for its participants in nearby Portland neighborhoods. The houses are located on State Street, Mellon Street and Deering Street. It faced zoning issues that can be read on-line. Peter Boynton, founder and CEO of Foundation did not return several emails from MHN.com before publication on-line of this post.
One of the first pieces of the facility in the complex of buildings to be ready for use is a recreation facility that will house a rock climbing wall, yoga, art studios, and baseball practice equipment. This facility is located at 141 Kennebec Street. That part of the project is expected to be completed within a month. In the same building, Gahlepy’s next project will be a “sensory deprivation tank” for program participants. Gahlepy said he doesn’t know how to build one yet, but he will learn. Office headquarters are at 160 Preble Street.
The former home to the Flea Market. behind Alice Dunn’s Salvage Store, will be used for offices, workshops and special events needed by the expanding campus. Young men enrolling in the program come from all over the country. The emphasis is on outdoor and the wilderness for which Maine is well suited. However, these programs all appear to be indoors and not in the wilderness as the web page suggests.
What was once the Portland Rochester Cafe at 118 Preble Street is now part of the Foundation House campus that teaches participants kitchen cooking skills. Someday it may open as the Triangle Cafe according to a nutritionist who is an employee of the Foundation. The Foundation House has run its current program there for about l l/2 years now with the emphasis on anonymously.
Today when mhn.com stopped in at the headquarters 160 Preble Street, Peter Boynton could be seen and heard addressing a group of young men in an attractive setting in the building. However, Boynton was not available following the hour-long meeting.. An office assistant, Jen, advised mhn.com that should this blogger return to the facility following the one hour-long meeting, Boynton would be “gruff: with her. The program moved into the 160 Preble Street address about three years ago and it is 15 years old overall.
MHN.com decided not to return to the corporate headquarters in person in view of this warning. Rather mhn.com emailed Boynton several times, but did not receive a response prior to the posting of this piece. MHN.com has been rebuffed several times in the past at several of the facilities and told that Boynton was not ready to reveal his plans for the area. on one occasion.
It is not clear that Boynton is ready yet to reveal his plans publicly.