Supportive Housing for Youth after Foster Care
Florida’s foster care/relative care system ends on a youth’s 18th birthday! With either no families, or perhaps toxic families, they have nowhere to go, and no one to turn to.
Many become homeless, and they are at high risk of falling victim to substance abuse and crime. Their prospects for completing their education, and obtaining a job with living wages, are statistically dismal. They lack role models, supportive loving families, safe housing, and even basic economic assistance. The system refers to such young adults as “TIL YOUTH” – Transitioning Independent Living Youth.
At HOMES, Inc., we provide shelter and so much more to 25 such TIL Youth, and their small children.
It’s a little weird and lonely having an apartment for the first time after growing up in group homes. Josh Mendoza and Katrena Wingo of Tampa, Florida offers their thoughts on living alone. This NPR audio slideshow features photos by Melissa Lyttle.
OUR GOAL is to stablize their lives and move them forward to self-sufficiency. Almost all of our youth (18 to 24 years old) were in fact homeless before arriving here, or about to become homeless because their pre-18th birthday living arrangements were coming to an abrupt end. Most arrive here with nothing but a small garbage bag of clothing.
Working with our non-profit project partner HANDY, Inc. (Helping Abused Neglected Disadvantaged Youth), we accept TIL Youth from all over Broward County into our program, and furnish support to them in a variety of ways, including:
- Quality Affordable Apartments (with low rents, currently subsidized by the Jim Moran Foundation)
- Home Furnishings
- Volunteer Mentors, & Professional Social Workers acting as “Life Coaches”
- Job Coaching Program
- Paid Job Internships & Job Placements
- Educational Counseling & Placement (+ help with securing financial aid & scholarships)
- Budget Counseling
- Life Skills Training
- Emergency Help & Emergency Funding
- Legal Assistance
- Emotional Support & Stability through life’s up and downs
- WHATEVER IT TAKES to make our Youth successful, as long as they are really trying to move their own lives forward
TO SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP continue this valuable program call 954-563-5454
To learn more about the plight of post foster care youth. Click here for YouTube Video: Common Ground Special Report, “Ending Homelessness after Foster Care“ . COMMON GROUND is a New York City-based organization, founded in 1990, that is an international leader in the development of solutions to homelessness.