Foundation House in Portland, ME

Overall Rating

(3.4 of 5)
Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
160 Preble Street
Portland ME 04101

Foundation House Philosophy

Foundation House is an extended-care sober living environment that has pioneered a dynamic approach to recovery by fostering the balance of structured independence and community. We offer a dignified bridge between treatment and living life clean and sober in the real world. We don't just teach how to get sober, we teach the skills and lessons necessary to stay sober.
Our program emphasizes community, adventure, independence, honesty, and effort. Foundation House Standards help build self-confidence in early recovery and place accountability on those aspects of life that help our residents stay clean & sober. Our mission is to help our clients exceed their own limited expectations of what their life can be.
Our weekly calendar features a wide range of activities; individual therapy, process groups, 12 Step instruction, yoga and meditation, nutrition education, art & music, athletic leagues, and wilderness adventures.
Our homes are fully furnished, beautifully maintained and our environment is family-oriented. Residents lead by example and practice meaningful change in a safe and supportive community. Our focus lies in helping our residents build a strong foundation and form a collective strength that will guide them as peers along the path of recovery.
At Foundation House we remove the stigma of addiction and return dignity to those who have nearly lost it all.

Areas of Specialization

  • Community & Supportive Living
    When a young man is given the freedom to begin to build a life in recovery it is essential that this new level of independence be matched with a supportive community. Our environment and our houses are not separated by age, length of stay or program stage. This allows an individual the greatest opportunity to connect with his peers and find a home in our community. The lasting relationships created in our homes and within our program are fundamental in the transition to a life of full independence.

  • Relapse Prevention
    In early recovery it is imperative to bring consciousness to the learned behaviors and impulsive or destructive patterns that have lead to use or relapse in the past. We teach our residents to create the tools and responses necessary to keep them away from a drink or a drug rather those that harm their health and happiness. By practicing and developing new patterns we begin to break old habits and help build a life that is free from deep-rooted process of self-destruction. Our methodology employs an experiential approach that identifies difficult emotional, physical and spiritual moments and transforms association to the feeling of discomfort.

Facility Highlights

Annual international trips

Monthly wilderness expeditions

Weekly yoga and acupuncture

Meet the Staff

Patrick Babcock

Founder, CEO and Executive Director

Photo of Patrick Babcock

Mr. Babcock is the Founder and Executive Director of Foundation House, having begun his professional career helping men in recovery from alcoholism & chemical dependency in 2002, and since that time has helped hundreds of men enjoy the freedom from addiction and the joy of a clean and sober way of life. It is Mr. Babcock's belief that a 12-step program is essential for an individual to enjoy long term recovery, and, as a result of his own experiences within "the program", has created an environment in Foundation House that teaches the residents not just how to get sober, but rather, through the use of a practical and holistic approach to the 12-steps, how to stay sober.

Jennifer Holsten

Director of Operations

Photo of Jennifer Holsten

Jennifer Holsten is an integral member of the Foundation House leadership team. She is directly responsible for maintaining the campus and residential homes as well as the day-to-day operations—employing the energy and dedication to ensure near flawless execution. Jennifer brings more than 20 years of experience motivating and coaching collegiate-level athletes to perform to their highest potential, and in turn has the ability to galvanize residents and staff to participate in Foundation House activities such as sports leagues and regular house cleans 360 Guide

Review by Contributors


Located blocks from the Back Cove in Portland, Maine, Foundation House is an extended-care sober-living facility for men that bridges the gap between primary treatment programs and normal community life. The facility is particularly well-suited for those who have been through wilderness therapy programs, though graduates of any primary treatment program are welcome.


According to the center’s website, the suggested stay is at least six months, though there is no firm requirement. Treatment incorporates the 12 steps and the program also emphasizes adventure and spirituality. The facility uses the Relationship Model as the base for experiential and evidence-based group and individual therapies. Foundation House prides itself on allowing residents the autonomy to discover their own true nature during their stay.

Treatment is split into three phases, each of which includes individual, group, and family therapy, trauma groups, relapse prevention training, and medication management. There’s also a strong emphasis on experiential therapies, such as wilderness expeditions and art, music, and athletic therapy. The transition to normal life is facilitated through life skills training, including job placement, high school and college placement programs, and career counseling.

As part of its commitment to adventure therapy, the center also runs annual international trips. Previous trips have included Africa, India, and Europe.


The facility has a team of six clinicians including a psychiatric nurse-practitioner. The staff includes licensed professional counselors, certified alcohol and drug counselors, and master's level counselors.


Photos published on the facility’s website show three attractive, family-style homes with some private rooms, cozy living areas, fully equipped kitchens, and patios with grills. According to the facility’s website, 60 clients can be accommodated across the three homes. Clients shop for and cook their own meals, as part of the course’s nutrition-education component, although a select six meals a week are provided in conjunction with special events.

In addition to the three residences, there is a main office where the clinical team is based, an in-house restaurant where residents learn cooking and nutrition skills, a rock wall space, and an education and programming building that holds a study hall location and a holistic space with two sensory deprivation tanks.

Foundation House offers an extensive array of sports and activities, including surfing, rock climbing, archery, and white water rafting. Enrollment comes complete with two gym memberships, a weekly private yoga class, and a Portland Museum of Art membership.


Of the four alumni who submitted reviews into at the time of this writing, one alum provided a positive review, and three left negative pieces of feedback.

One alum gave the center five out of five stars for its treatment effectiveness and accommodations and amenities. “This program offers basically every amenity that one could wish to have while getting sober,” the alum wrote.

The other four alumni noted things such as “worst decision ever. Steer clear of this nightmare” and “did not enjoy this facility.”

“I can’t believe Foundation House is still in business,” another alum wrote. “Absolute nightmare if your serious about long-term recovery. Stay clear.”

However, on Facebook, Foundation House has received glowingly positive feedback. Foundation House’s Facebook page, which the center has the ability to manage, has an average rating of 4.9 out of five stars based on 29 reviews at the time of this writing.[1]

Facebook reviewers tended to praise the staff and the facility’s sense of community, and expressed great loyalty to the center. “Saved my life! Love you all,” Justin wrote.


The two loved ones polled by at the time of this writing gave negative feedback.Both loved ones gave the facility ratings of one or two out of five stars for a majority of the 15 aspects of the facility they evaluated, including the facility’s addiction treatment, mental health treatment, staff support, and the family program.

“Absolutely not recommend!!!! Unprofessional counseling,” one anonymous reviewer wrote.


Fees are paid on a monthly basis, and are divided into three components: clinical costs, which are billed directly to the client’s insurance company; residential costs, which are normally not covered by insurance; and spending money. For self-paying clients, major credit cards, checks, and wire transfers are accepted.


User Reviews

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There needs to be a better intake procedure. People need to be turned down who need more supervision. Counselors do not prioritize family members and actually cause more friction. I do not believe in counseling using sarcasm and punishment and found both were used here . A psychiatrist is not on staff rather a nurse practitioner psychiatrist . Perhaps if your loved one is 100 percent committed to sobriety and does not need meds or psychiatric help this would be a great place but do not put a loved one here who needs a more contained environment . There is no weekend help and the guys basically do as they please . Too much freedom for early recovery .

Foundation House isn't for everyone, but it was the only place for me. After years of active alcoholism and multiple different treatments, I have finally found recovery in Portland, Maine thanks to FH. Foundation house didn't save my life, it gave me a life worth saving.

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There are many sober houses in Portland that are much less expensive whose owners care about their clients and their recoveries, not about charging in order to fatten their wallets. A staff started off doing the right thing years ago but when the $ started pouring in , he lost himself and his motovations changed from carrying the message of recovery to pure profit motivation. One guy in particular is the only thing holding that place together. Avoid FH if at all possible. Ask around the recovery community in Portland for a better house that actually has you write inventory/meet with a sponsor/ has real house meetings/ holds you to a standard that will ensure you work the steps. There are many just as nice and a lot less expensive.

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My son and our family had a very positive experience with Foundation House. Our son transitioned to FH directly from wilderness therapy. The FH program's holistic approach provided the right mix of life-skills, recreational activities and therapy to give our son a strong framework to develop and grow a rich and sober life. The FH program encouraged our son to take responsibility for his life and gave him the skills to do so. The FH culture provided him with positive modeling and a strong and continuing network of friends and professionals to support him. FH also provided support to us, as parents, during a period of time that was very difficult for us, which was greatly appreciated. I firmly believe that FH helped save our son's life and strongly recommend the program.

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Awesome experience. Saved my life

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As far as what a transitional living facility can offer someone (separate from that individual's own intentions and efforts in staying sober), Foundation House truly has it all. As a former resident I can say the program offered an ideal balance of support and freedom where I was able to access all the help that I needed while simultaneously developing the skills and attitudes that would be necessary to carry on a successful life in sobriety after moving out. The activities and experiences made available to me at Foundation House were second to none and they extend their support beyond the tenure of an active paying resident. I continue to participate in a number of activities and frequently get invited on everything from resident camping trips to extended journeys overseas even after having moved out several years ago. Coming from an absolutely hopeless state before moving into Foundation House, I've been sober for nearly 5 years now and I'm grateful to the program for helping me get to where I am today.

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Foundation House is the place where my son's life was saved. This was his 5th attempt at getting sober and we had tried places in and out of the country. The camaraderie, amenities, programming, and growth opportunities that was available to my son was second to none. When he first arrived, he had real trouble buying into recovery as he did every time before but his therapist insisted we give him time to acclimate to the program. By 6 months in, it was clear that something was different this time. I understand that its AA that gets people sober. But Foundation House was the only place where my son was ready to receive it. I don't know if it was the individual therapy, the group therapy, the 3 wilderness trips he went on, the music studio time they rent for the guys, the athletic leagues they offer, the house culture at the residence he lived in, a combination of all of it, or something else entirely but something began to click. My son's been sober 4 years now and I can't thank Foundation House enough for the effort they put in. I read these other reviews and genuinely hope that their sons have found somewhere that offers their sons a similar experience to the one my son had at Foundation House. But take it from a parent who truly thought they lost their son, Foundation House is the place that brought him back to us.

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The initial site visit had the owner and staff intently focused on us (parents of a son looking for a secondary facility). There were promises of hands on and constant group activities and therapy focus with strong supervision. The facility that our son was at recommended this facility as we were looking for a new England location. As it turned out our son was sent on to Foundation House directly from a primary facility. We were disappointed with his experience there. We were never consulted on having our son attend private counseling, it did not happen. Supervision was lacking. There was a house manager at each property who was a senior in their program but he had his own job and life not really involved with the new residents. The owner was very focused on telling his recovery story over and over that was one part of the therapy. Art classes and yoga and meditation are not really therapy in my eyes. Nutrition??? The residents were all left to their own devices to feed and manage there own meals. A lot of down time with no direction. I was told that for the first few days each guy was left to absorb where they were and figure it out. During my sons time there a lot of young men who flunked out of the program with in the first week. Oh yes you pay for the month and if your son does not make it past day 2 or 3 he's out. They keep the money. ..I would not recommend the program. Lots of bells and whistles promised, nice homes to live in, but no follow through. There is potential for a good program but most of it is hands off and it falls short. Should you have a loved one who needs to be in this type of program there are better ones out there.

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As an alumni of this facility I find it funny at the past reviews, who are clearly from people who were not ready or willing to do what it takes to stay sober. This program offers basically every amenity that one could wish to have while getting sober. Chances are that these reviews are from entitled kids whom couldn't hack it away from mommy or daddy and take care of themselves. Have some accountability for your own life and sobriety, as no one else can do this for you.

I can't believe Foundation House is still in business. The owner clearly has anger and mental health issues that have gone unaddressed. Staff turnover must be the highest in the nation for this industry. Absolute nightmare if your serious about long-term recovery. Stay clear.

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Worst decision ever. Steer clear of this nightmare.

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Did not enjoy this facility.

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Absolutely not recommend!!!! Unprofessional counseling.

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