Windham Eagle Choice Awards

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shannon Trainor promoted to executive director of Crossroads - By Elizabeth Richards



Crossroads has a new, but familiar, face at the helm. Shannon Trainor, LCSW, CCS, the former clinical director for the organization, was unanimously chosen by the organizations board of directors to step into the executive director position. 


Crossroads was founded in 1974 as a 30-day residential treatment program for women with substance abuse and mental health issues. The Boulton Center for Women and Children, located in Windham, was Crossroads’ original program, which made the organization what it is today, said Trainor. While a lot of people still think that is the only program, the organization has expanded into much more, including two inpatient programs for women, and two outpatient programs which provide substance abuse and mental health services to both men and women. 

Last year, the organization received a $1.5 million SAMSHA grant to work with pregnant clients and clients with infants up to 12 months old in their residential program. While Crossroads had already been doing that, Trainor said the dollars from the federal government enhance the program by providing a lot of case management services that are not covered under current state funding for substance abuse. 

One of the things that makes Crossroads unique is their gender specific approach, said Trainor. “Women bring a lot of different things to the table than men do,” said Trainor. “It’s not a cookie cutter one size fits all, it really is very individualized depending on what gender you’re working with,” she said. 

Trainor worked for four years as the clinical director of Crossroads prior to accepting the executive director position. She began her career doing in-home counseling with children and families in Lawrence, Mass. While at South Bay Mental Health, she was promoted first to clinical supervisor, and then became the clinical director of the Lowell site. When she moved to Maine with her husband, she worked as the clinical director at Goodwill Hinkley, and was then promoted to director of programs and services. When Goodwill Hinkley closed for restructuring and laid everyone off, Trainor landed at Crossroads. 

She took over the reins as executive director on September 30th, and things have been a flurry of activity ever since. “It’s been a whirlwind of a month,” she said. The organization held their inaugural signature fundraising event, a masquerade ball, at Dunegrass Country Club in Old Orchard Beach on October 19th. The event was the first large scale fundraiser for the organization and was a big success according to Trainor. “We had a lot of people come out and support Crossroads. We raised a lot of money for patient scholarships,” she said. 

Fundraising, marketing and development will be Trainor’s areas of focus as executive director in the upcoming years. While many nonprofits in Maine rely on state funding, Trainor said Crossroads is trying to move away from that due in part to unreliability and inconsistency in payment. They have been expanding into private insurance and self pay markets, beginning with their outpatient programs. They are launching a new residential program, which is a restructuring of their six month halfway house which lost state funding. This will become a 10-bed 30-day residential treatment program for women that will be for self paying or private insurance clients. 

Trainor said that Maine does a good job of offering treatment options to people on Maine Care or who are uninsured, but there haven’t been any in-state options for those with private insurance or the ability to pay out of pocket. These clients, then, have been travelling out of state for treatment, and have to transition back into Maine with no connections in their community, which can make it more difficult to maintain recovery and sobriety, said Trainor. 

Her focus on fundraising relates directly to supporting women in getting treatment. “We wanted to be able to raise funds, to be able to help support patient scholarships and provide financial assistance to those who qualify,” said Trainor. “That’s really what the fundraising dollars are going to. To help women stay in Maine, stay connected, and be able to get treatment in their own community,” she said. 

Although fundraising events such as the masquerade ball are part of the fundraising efforts, Trainor said it’s important to cultivate private donors as well. “It’s really important to get other donors, and people who support the Crossroads mission that want to give back financially to help support treatment,” she said.

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