Cornerstones Client Corner: A Day in the Life at the West End
July 21, 2023
*client name has been changed for confidentiality purposes*
My name is Christina, and I’m a current Cornerstones client located in the West End of Portland, Maine. I’m excited to introduce honest insight and experience combined with my minor journalistic qualifications and apply them to a column in the monthly newsletter! I expressed an interest in pursuing journalism to my Life Skills & Academic Success Coach and have been exploring writing opportunities with her support. I thought Cornerstones News could be a great place to start. I wanted to write about something that I would have found helpful prior to my admission to Cornerstones, which is running through a day in the life of a West End client!
A regular day in the West End starts at 7:45 AM. Clients head downstairs to check in and take their morning medications, and directly afterward we have an hour to get ready and make and eat breakfast. Next comes morning intentions. We congregate in the common area at 8:45 sharp! This time is spent discussing the general schedule for the day and running through our individual obligations. The Monday intention session is spent filling our schedules: appointments, work shifts, classes, events, extras, etcetera. After Intentions, we head to group therapy. Group is an hour long, and we can talk about anything and everything! It is a fantastic and healthy environment to vent, discuss any concerns, and process individually and collectively. Clients also have 2 private sessions a week with a first and secondary therapist.
After group therapy, we break off depending on what level each client is on. As a level 3, I head to the YMCA for some yoga or cardio with level 1 and 2 clients. Level 4 clients can schedule their gym session for another hour based on personal preference. Some clients walk to the Y in groups. I prefer to walk to the Y solo to enjoy the alone time.
At 11:45, clients head back to the West End. I like to make lunch during this time between gym and volunteering, which we leave for at 1:15. At level 3, we are able to search for volunteering opportunities outside of the Cornerstones recommendations. Until then, we head to Preble Street or other spots for volunteer work in South Portland. At Preble Street, we pack lunch and dinner to be delivered to those in need of meals.
After volunteering, we head back to the house to have dinner at 6 PM. Clients cook every week on the day of their choosing, assigned during weekly planning on Monday morning. A personal favorite of mine is build-your-own tacos! After dinner is free time. We use this time to chill before bed. There are also always the options to go out to a concert at the State Theater, catch a movie, go out to eat, or hang out with friends. Some clients, like myself, work night shifts.
Portland has tons of fantastic must-visits that clients frequent. Some of our favorite restaurants include Lazzari (great Italian food), The Green Elephant (yummy vegetarian), El Corazon Restaurante (great Mexican food), and Uncharted, an awesome spot for bubble tea. Thrifting is also huge in Portland; there are the coolest thrift stores to explore. My personal favorite is Weekend Vintage, very Y2K fashion-based. The West End is a great place to live, specifically for the location and accessibility to downtown. It’s super walkable, and there is always something going on. The energy is transcendent! The longer you are at Cornerstones, the more you’ll explore.