The Magic Behind Our Red Doors

Our home, in a renovated church on Main Street in Westbrook, and a new one in a former church in Biddeford, is where we nurture, inspire, and safeguard at-risk teens, many of whom have nowhere else to go. With steely resolve, and a passion for grit and accountability, we keep kids safe, fed, loved, and shown a different path. We are a year round, free, out of school time program for all youth, from any locale, ages 10-18. Join us as we change lives.

WHO WE ARE

My Place Teen Center (MPTC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, regional organization headquartered in Westbrook, Maine, with a second location to be opened in Biddeford, July 2020. Our mission is to provide a safe haven for youth ages 10-18, sustaining them with comfort, meals, resources, and hope. We serve children in Cumberland and York counties. See the communities we serve.

We are a year round, free, out of school time program. We provide academic assistance through tutoring, study skills, the Learning Technology Lab, and Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) programs. We offer instruction in character development, leadership development, life skills, job skills, and financial literacy. We focus on aspects of healthy, responsible moral development that builds strong character, self-esteem, academic, and leadership skills.

Our culture at the Teen Center is one in which we are loving first and firm when needed. A family-type, anti-bullying, safe environment is our hallmark. When youth walk through our Red Doors, we see kids who have the potential to thrive with mentoring and guidance. Our niche is fostering grit, perseverance, curiosity, passion, and accountability. These non-academic pursuits are the success indicators of positive, thriving futures. We are committed to engaging these young people in positive relationships and meaningful activities that allow them to be courageous in the face of their traumatic life circumstances. 

Given our transient, middle and high school population, we know that hunger and homelessness are on the rise and parent substance use is a contributing factor to our kids’ exposure to early trauma. Confronted with the fallout of childhood trauma, we are asking why do some children adapt and overcome, while others bear lifelong scars that flatten their potential? A growing body of evidence points to one common answer: Every child who winds up doing well has had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult.

My Place Teen Center is at the forefront of some of the most crucial issues of our time. 

 

  • We fight to keep kids safe from the devastation of the opioid epidemic. 
  • We combat poverty and food insecurity. 
  • We create real, authentic communities with kids from diverse backgrounds, teaching them how to be good citizens and good neighbors. 
  • We show teens from broken homes that there is a better way to live life – with accountability, personal responsibility, and self-care. 
  • We are not just raising kids, we are raising the next generation of adults, and they are headed your way. 
  • We know adverse childhood experiences and the lifelong consequences of trauma can be counterbalanced with protective factors such as increasing cognitive capacity, healthy attachment of relationships, the ability to regulate emotions and behaviors, and creating safe environments. This is our calling card. 

500 kids. 9,100 meals.

The two most important services we provide: Year-round, free, after-school programming. Hot, complete, nutritious meals.