READY BY 21 HOUSING
In 2012 our founder fostered a high-school girl as she transitioned from a foster-care group home. This young lady was having difficulty finding a home because of the negative stigma placed upon her from living in a group home. Shortly after, we witnessed this youth's grades improving dramatically within a short period of time, as she was supported and encouraged to pursue her goals. We later witnessed this young woman make amazing strides as she enrolled at Sac State and today maintains a successful career. We understood evidenced-based mentoring, but now witnessed first-hand, the impact a loving, supportive home environment coupled with mentoring can have in the life of a disengaged youth.
During that initial season in 2012, we began encouraging families to foster similarly placed teenagers in group homes who were participating in our programs, and we would provide wrap-around support services. Since then, we continued a low-profile housing program for transitioning youth to be supported during these difficult years. We housed one or two young ladies at a time. We helped them obtain their driver's license and reliable transportation at 18, and income to carry insurance. We ensured they were on a positive trajectory in college and employment through mentoring, and we remained in their lives through adulthood. Now in 2021, we are excited to create greater capacity through a small residence for young women ages 18-21 to live on their own. We will continue supporting them with counselors, coaches, and mentoring, as well as wrap-around support services to ensure their success, but this house will provide an opportunity for them to experience living as roommates while in college. Our vision is much greater than this residence. We hope to provide a formalized transitional housing program for non-minor dependents licensed by the State of California for 18 to 21 year olds. And beyond that, semi-independent housing through 24, with the goal of seeing them through obtaining permanent housing.
We have always known the need for housing is great, and recognize that when foster youth turn 18, the last thing they believe they need is to be in "another program where adults tell them what to do." We have always believed there is great value in allowing them to have a voice in what they want and need. Our kids deserve the best we have to offer.
We also recognize that most young people are not prepared to face the challenges of adulthood alone, without a support network. We are that support network. As we build our housing program, we will be a supportive extended family that with the help of professionals will ensure our kids embark on a trajectory for positive outcomes and beautiful futures.