Did you know every year between 800 and 900 youth age out of foster care? But, far worse than aging out of foster care is what happens next to too many of the youth represented in that number.
- Only 55% were employed or participating in employment related training
- 25-50% experienced homelessness, couch surfing, and instability in housing
- 33% have not had enough food in the past year
(Arizona Child and Family Services Annual Progress and Service Report 2017)
- 74% of inmates in prison were in foster care and 80% on death row with 50% incarcerated within 2 years of aging out of foster care (US Department of Justice)
- only 15% will attend college and fewer than 3% will earn a college degree (Dave Thomas Foundation)
- 50% will not graduate high school (Casey Foundation)
- 71% of girls will be pregnant before the age of 21 (Courtney, M.E., Dworsky, A., Ruth Cusick, G., Havlicek, J., Perez, A., Keller, T. (2007).
- 33% will repeat the cycle and become abusers/neglectful themselves (Child welfare information gateway)
We cannot ask youth to transition into adulthood alone nor should that expectation be placed on them. As a community, we are linking arms and saying enough is enough. We are telling Arizona’s youth “we are here and we will stand with you” because we believe that they are Arizona’s future. We believe their talents, experiences, and passion will make an impact on our community and that they are worth investing in.
Today, March 1, 2018, we place a mile marker. For over a year we have been on a mission to provide housing and, today, four youth know where they will rest their heads because of this community working together to make housing a reality. This is the first mile marker of many to come. We know the number of youth needing security through housing far exceeds our current resources but, today is a start. My favorite quote is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” We are committed to taking on the housing issue one apartment at a time until this is no longer a crisis for Arizona’s youth.
None of this would be possible without your generosity, the incredible team of volunteers and board members, and some amazing community partners. To name a few, Keys to Success will be joining us to provide programming for the youth to assist in meeting educational and vocational goals, Arizona Helping Hands has agreed to provide every youth with a bed that they will take post program, and Ticket to Dream is assisting in resourcing the students with laptops to increase their ability to succeed.
If you are interested in working with us to impact more lives by becoming a sponsor or a volunteer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founder & CEO Foster Arizona