“One day you have a place to live and someone to take care of you … and the next day … it’s just done.”– Reni Geiger, Director of Community Initiatives, Goodwill Industries
Many people think that a safety net exists when children in the foster care system reach 18 years of age, but in fact, it doesn’t. When these children reach the age of adulthood, assistance mostly stops – which means no home, no family, no job and limited education. Through no fault of their own, they are simply left to provide for themselves and struggle once again to find stability, leaving little hope.
Due to family disruption, inconsistent living arrangements, foster care regimentation
and limited financial support throughout their childhoods, most former foster youth face significant challenges:
- At 18, foster care room and board ceases, leaving youth to find their own living arrangements
- No family support and limited, if any, supportive relationships
- High school education level at best, and often less
- Job prospects are dim, due to minimal education
- Financial support is seldom available; no federal programs target this group after 18
- Only short-term living options are available with no semblance to a home or community
If not homeless already, they are prime candidates for homelessness.