Foundation House is located in PORTLAND, MAINE, one of the top cities in the country for people in recovery.
Our program is built to meet a cross-section of BEHAVIORAL, EMOTIONAL and MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS. We SPECIALIZE IN RELAPSE PREVENTION while following the basic principles of a 12 STEP PROGRAM.
Most of our clients have first attended a therapeutic wilderness program, primary treatment program or therapeutic boarding school. We offer the structure and accountability stressed in those programs, while teaching residents how to live and think independently.
Photo Above: Berchtesgaden, Germany – Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest – Foundation House inaugural International Expedition to Europe
How we Started...
The inspiration for this recovery initiative stemmed from the childhood relationship between two best friends from New York City, and one couple’s desire to create a shared adventure that would bring meaning and purpose to their lives.
Peter Kellerman, a partner in the financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, was Patrick Babcock’s closest confidant and friend. He died in the tragic events of 9/11 while working in the World Trade Center. Patrick started Foundation House to carry on Peter’s name and give back to the community that helped Patrick get sober and reinvent his life.
PK Holdings donates a portion of Foundation House’s annual proceeds to local, regional, national and international charities and organizations. Foundation House also works with organizations in the locations we visit on our International Expeditions, helping give back to those in need wherever we go.
Photo Above: Peter’s name inscribed on the 9/11 Memorial
When a young man is given the freedom to build a life in early recovery, it is essential that this new level of autonomy be matched with support and guidance.
Foundation House offers a dignified bridge between primary treatment and living life sober in the real world. We teach our residents how to build a life in recovery and to immerse themselves in a sober community that exceeds their expectations. Each resident learns how to function within the group and thrive as an independent self.
Our purpose is to teach our residents how to do everything sober. This means walking around town with money in their pocket, beginning and maintaining new relationships, finding work or continuing their education, using a cell phone or a computer and learning how to have fun in sobriety. It also includes keeping personal living spaces clean, living in a community and learning to do the next right thing.
When young men find their way through experience, growth occurs. Our supportive staff and peer culture allows natural consequences of behavior to work themselves out within the group. We have created a non-punitive environment based on trust, and allow our residents to navigate real life - by living it.
Photo Above: Crescent Beach State Park, Maine
In our finely tuned ethos, young men from across the globe have found a home and a community to elevate their lives. For one young man from Maine, the long journey out of desperation and into a meaningful life started here at the Foxhole, in his own backyard.
Transitioning Out of the Program & Into A Life of Recovery
By Simon M.
What was it like before?
I grew up just a few miles away from Foundation House, in South Portland. I would have never thought that a place like this existed, let alone in my backyard. My first day in the program is also my sober date. I was completely miserable before coming in and had lost all trust and confidence from my family and friends. My life was going backwards in every aspect. When I was 18 and 19 I had tried a lot of IOP programs and none of those worked for me, I failed out every time. I turned 21, got a DUI, got into more trouble with the law, and saw the repercussions of my addiction catching up with me. From that point, it was four years of a complete blur, in a continuous downward spiral that brought me to my knees. I just hit rock bottom at the end, like most people do with this disease. I didn’t have any future, I had given up on life itself. It was at the doorstep leading up to this place that I finally surrendered and came into Foundation House with enough willingness to give it a shot.
What was it like in the house?
When I toured Foundation House, I was in awe that so much of the staff were alumni who were living happy, prosperous lives. I did not think a sober life that was fun and exciting was possible before meeting them. People greeted me with open arms and made me feel welcome and showed me what a tremendous opportunity existed here. All the residents looked so engaged and like they were actually enjoying getting well. The clinical staff played a huge part in me deciding to come here, because I could see how dedicated and how relatable they were, with their personal experiences and the general atmosphere of acceptance.
I arrived on a pink cloud, enjoying everything and diving in headfirst for the first two months of my stay. Then, for the next three months, I really struggled with my confidence in sobriety, old resentments, negative self-talk and a lot of thinking irrationally about the future. I thought that the start of sobriety was going to be all sunshine and rainbows, but I quickly realized that there were issues I needed to address head-on, that I used to drown out with a substance. That is exactly where my growth happened, when I was faced with the uncomfortable reality of needing to change. I was able to learn how to lean on guys in the house, be honest with myself and others and talk through issues with staff instead of going into a spiral. I learned a lot about myself in this time, about how my actions affect others and that I really needed to change from the inside out.
The second half of my stay became truly awesome. I was reaping all of the benefits of the program and realizing all that it offered me, as long as I put in real effort. The program is definitely a two-way street, where you get out what you put in. From the hiking trips and ranch trips to the therapy groups, my horizons were broadened, and my outlook was changed. I found myself finally excited for the future, no longer questioning if sobriety was possible. I got into working a strong recovery program, meeting frequently with my sponsor and going to many 12-Step meetings. My recovery is something the guys really helped me with in the house, giving me the motivation and extra push to get to meetings and into a more positive way of thinking. The culture here is one where wanting to be sober is cool and getting active in the program is the norm. Staying in touch and committing to things is something I continue to work on, but now I have a plan and things are falling into place when I follow that plan. I never realized how easy my life could be if I put down the substances and started looking within and asking for help.
What is it like now?
Today, what it looks like, is healthy relationships with my family and the guys I went through the house with, who are such a big part of my life. I have lasting friendships. A year ago, I was isolated, and it was a train wreck. Being a man of my word and someone people can trust is huge for me. I stay in touch with the staff, the current residents who I formed relationships with and have so many friends from the Foxhole and in recovery. Recovery is a huge part of my life. I talk to my sponsor regularly, actively working the steps, and service work. If not for Foundation House, I would not have had the support or confidence to go back to college this year, a tremendous opportunity for my family and me. It feels like my life is finally manageable and that I am living a life I am proud of.
What keeps you from going back?
This place really showed me the design for living a sober life, what a sober life can be and all the benefits. There is so much support in my life, inside and outside of the program, that there are many barriers in between me and that next drink. Anything feels possible if I keep doing the next right thing, and this place gave me a strong compass of what that is. I stay in the day, in the moment, and don’t look out into the future. There are so many relationships that are open and honest that I can lean on now, that I didn’t know how to have before. The biggest thing is waking up every day and being genuinely content for the direction of my life and the person I am. This place gave me that opportunity and the ability to see all that is possible in me and in life.
noun | fox-hole
In warfare, a foxhole is a trench dug in the earth that provides soldiers a place of refuge and shelter. At Foundation House, we use warfare as a metaphor as it relates to the battle we face every day against addiction. Just as soldiers use the foxhole for protection, as addicts we band together in our own Foxhole to preserve each other's lives from our common enemy.
Young men in active addiction find themselves feeling alone, acting selfishly and unable to protect themselves from the harmful consequences of their condition. We have created a safe and sober environment where residents dedicate themselves to reversing these tendencies. Our mission is to form a sense of brotherhood where residents, alumni and staff act selflessly to protect each other - just as soldiers do on the field of battle. For most clients, this is their first experience feeling a deep sense of connection, loyalty and commitment to their peers.
Alone, the thought of staying sober and overcoming the fear, anxiety and trauma are too much. The job seems too great. Together, though, it is possible.
As in any successful war, we will suffer casualties. If a resident relapses, they are escorted by staff to our clinical building and supervised 24-hours a day until an appropriate placement is made. This placement will either be a referral to a primary treatment center with the option to return to Foundation House, or they may be allowed to participate in Foundation House’s Wilderness Intervention Program.
Photo Above: A foxhole at Normandy Beach from our Band of Brothers International Expedition to Europe.