Here is part of what it looks like to be involved in the foster care situation in the state of Florida as a youth transitioning into adulthood:
Each year, an average of over 1,300 youth exit out of foster care in Florida.
Youth between the ages of 18 and 23 are the fastest-growing homeless population in Florida.
60% of young people in the business of sex trafficking and prostitution were once in foster care.
48% of homeless youth between ages 18-23 performed paid sex acts because they lacked a safe place to stay.
In what world, is this an acceptable standard for our youth transitioning into adulthood from foster care in this state.
This is an abomination. And we should be ashamed of ourselves.
And this new permanent home project specifically for female youth between 18-23 years old who have exited foster care in Volusia County, FL without a place to live, provides a solution to this pathetic attempt of transitioning our young people into adulthood from foster care.
Again, this is such a nauseating stupid problem in Florida. But it's a problem. And here's a group providing a permanent housing solution.
It is apropo to mention that this group is actually a religious organization. Yes, a church.
Newly started church in October 2015. Purchased a home with 2 apartments.
3 female youth who are 19 years of age are currently residing in the apartments. 1 female youth in the process of securing another space.
That's 4 homeless youth permanently housed. With an 8 month old baby as well.
Since they have exited out of foster care, they can enroll into college for free with their available tuition waivers.
One of them had been in foster care since the age of 7. And our state still could not get her successfully transitioned into adulthood with a permanent home.
That is a shockingly failure of performance at the highest proportions. And some administrators should not have their jobs. Plain and simple.
One of these youth is completing their GED online. Another is enrolled in college and working part-time at Lowe's.
So don't give us this so-called justifiable nonsense about how difficult it is to transition young people into successful adults just because they happen to be in foster care.
Maybe if we spent more time in conversations with our young people instead of checking off boxes on our referral sheet, assessment matrix, behavioral assessment, intake assessment, 6-month assessment, job assessment, educational assessment, housing assessment, drug use assessment, Pokemon Go assessment, etc.
There's an assessment for every aspect of a young person's life in foster care. You can't even go to the mall without somebody wanting to call a meeting to have an assessment done.
Let alone trying to get a driver's license, ID, birth certificate, social security card, a car, insurance, a job, into college, go on a date, join a sports club, have a friend over, buy a cell phone or even go to the prom.
Sorry to break it to you. But listen up.
Raising kids does not come with a workbook full of assessment sheets, community referrals, waiting lists and excuses for not getting the job done.
And that reality makes about as much sense to our foster care decision-makers as the thought is of a pregnant nun.
And those decision-makers who could not find it in themselves to take their resources and get this young woman in this article into an apartment. During a span of 10 years.
Should be located and given a pink slip. Empty the paper box by the printer. Give it to them and have them escorted out of the building. Immediately.
This new small church of about 20 people in Ormand Beach has provided more of a permanent housing solution to our youth exiting foster care than the entire Volusia County foster care atrocity that sits along our east coast.
Way to go church : )