Governor LePage Designates $20,000 in Contingency Funds for Penquis Journey House

April 17, 2014

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 17
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor LePage has designated $20,000 from his contingency funds to support the continuation of services offered by the Penquis Journey House in Dexter. Founded in 2009, the Journey House serves as a safe haven for primarily young women and their children who are in transition. Programs ranging from parenting classes to job training offered by Penquis support each resident for up to eighteen months.

“The Penquis Journey House is a great example of Mainers working together to fulfill an unmet need in their community,” said Governor LePage. “I appreciate the meaningful services the Penquis board and staff offer in order to equip Maine’s youth to become self-sufficient.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award,” said Denise Trafton, Residential Services Director for the Penquis Journey House. “This funding is essential to maintaining services for homeless pregnant and parenting youth in Piscataquis County and the surrounding area.”

According to Trafton, there are very few programs in the state that provide housing to parenting youth, and even fewer that offer services in rural areas. The Penquis Journey House provides short-term shelter and support services to pregnant and parenting young women 16 to 21 years of age who are homeless or at immediate risk of homelessness.

“The Penquis Journey House provides a safe, supportive environment and the opportunity for young women to improve their lives and build a better future for their children,” said Trafton. “By helping youth to become self-sufficient individuals as well as nurturing parents, we are able to break the cycle of homelessness, poverty and violence.” The vast majority of the young women served through the program have experienced instability, child abuse, neglect and/or domestic violence.

“I’m proud to support an organization which has proven itself successful in equipping young people to lead productive and rewarding lives,” said Governor LePage.